INVESTIGATES: Area law enforcement warns, most forms of CBD are illegal

Why CBD is illegal in Texas

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - CBD, or Cannabidiol, derives from Marijuana and is used for a variety of medical purposes. It can be found in creams, patches, food, and many other products to help with conditions like anxiety or depression. However, many lawmakers and other professionals are now debating its legality.

“Is CBD Legal?” seems like an easy question to answer, but the answer is actually very confusing.

This conversation got started after a post from the Seminole Police Department. It says, contrary to current popular belief, CBD oils are still illegal in the State of Texas. They advise businesses in town to rethink advertising and selling the products. This statement got a lot of people talking, including many who said the statement was false because CBD products are sold all over Lubbock.

Our KCBD team then reached out to the Lubbock DA who responded with this statement:

"Is CBD oil legal in Texas? CBD oils on the market commonly contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC in any concentration is illegal under Texas law, pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act. This, however, is a quickly changing area of law. A bill is currently pending in the Texas Legislature that, if passed and enacted, would legalize possession of CBD oil if the amount of THC in the oil was 0.3 % or less, bringing Texas into compliance with the 2018 Federal Farm Bill.

Although our office has yet to receive any CBD oil cases for prosecution, we will continue to assess the law and facts presented when deciding whether prosecuting a particular defendant for a particular crime is in the best interest of justice. "

Both CBD and THC are found in marijuana, and occur naturally in the plant. However, THC is the chemical that makes people ‘high’. Many think that you can get CBD without THC, but that’s not always the case. According to marijuana specialists, the DA, and police, when you extract the CBD from the plant, which can be done in a variety of ways, and not one of them is perfect, a small amount of THC almost always slips in. And it’s that small amount that’s causing lawmakers here in the Lone Star State to say, no, CBD is usually not legal.

“When I talk to the DPS chemist, I guess it was a month ago, everything is still the same in Texas which is if there is any THC detected, it is considered a crime," says Chief Bernie Kraft, of the Seminole Police Department.

CBD users frequently use the drug for medical purposes, and because they believe it does not contain THC, something the owner of ‘Kickin’ Ash Vape Shop’ says she has papers to prove.

“The testing that I have is from the distributor, say it’s this distributor, I immediately asked for their testing and it shows everything in each product and how much is in there. Like how much CBD, how much coconut oil, or flavor additive, or anything else. It’s all in there and it’ll tell you the THC, and a lot of them were 0.0," explains Marissa Perez.

However, to her surprise and the surprise of many others, the Seminole Police Chief says those tests don’t matter.

“Not all manufacturers are using the same process. That’s why the FDA is going to start regulating, and to make sure everything is below the .3 that is now being put out there, but there are some products out there that are apparently not making that standard, that’s what we’re concerned about," Chief Kraft said. “Stuff’s being reported as just hemp, come to find out it’s not.”

That .3% comes from the Farm Bill, which was enacted across the county and legalizes Hemp in certain states, if the THC percentage is below .3%. In Texas though, the state law says any level of THC is illegal.

“My policy right now: We catch people on the street with it [CBD] then we will handle it the way we normally would for any narcotics investigation, because I know there’s a lot of gray area in there," Chief Kraft said.

Now that warning is extending to local shops. The owner of ‘Kickin’ Ash’ says the chief came and advised her to remove her supplies, “He told me I need to get everything off my shelves immediately or it’s considered a felony misdemeanor."

Facebook announcement from Seminole Police Department.
Facebook announcement from Seminole Police Department.

Chief Kraft said, “My whole goal is that I don’t want anyone getting unnecessary charged with a crime because they put the cart before the horse and started selling stuff before everything was in place to legally sell it.”

CBD could be made completely legal by HB 4508, which is currently making its way through the House.

“House bill 4508 specifically deals with the CBD oil deal because even they know there is an issue with the law or they wouldn’t be trying to get a bill in there to clarify," Chief Kraft said. “So I’m just basically asking for a voluntary compliance right now, so kind of a slow down, let’s wait and see.”

So until that bill passes, the owner of ‘Kickin’ Ash Vape Shop’ says they’ll wait, and hopefully avoid any trouble. “I took everything off my shelf and I guess we’re just going to go with, I guess what the legislature has to say and I don’t know if they’re ever going to pass it or what’s going to happen with that.”

A spokesperson from the Lubbock DA’s office says that CBD oils commonly contain THC and under the current law that means that CBD is not legal.

For those of living in the Hub City, Lubbock Police want to remind people that, despite what a label might say, if something tests positive for THC, you could be held liable for possession of an illegal substance.

So far no one in Gains, Dawson, or Lubbock County has been prosecuted for CBD, however there are numerous cases involving THC.

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