CB-AWARE: CBD oils and hemp flower don’t get you high, but they can get you arrested.
CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil, and hemp products are widely sold throughout Florida due to their ability to provide therapeutic relief without the “high” or psychoactive properties of marijuana. While there is a strong consensus regarding the therapeutic properties of CBD oils and hemp products, what is uncertain is the legal status of CBD oils and hemp-related products in Florida.
Through the Farm Act, the federal government recently ended prohibition on industrialized hemp production. This new legislation is why we are seeing more CBD shops opening up, more consumers using the products, and unfortunately, more people who are possessing CBD oils and hemp products while coming into contact with a law enforcement officer.
The unfortunate nature of these law enforcement contacts stems from the fact that a trace amount of THC is present in CBD oils and hemp products that are legally available in stores throughout the State. To the naked eye, CBD oils and hemp flower are virtually indistinguishable from the marijuana flower (bud) or hash / THC oil. Furthermore, the test kits utilized by law enforcement officers in the field are also unable to distinguish the difference between CBD oil or hemp from their THC-infused cousins.
The attorneys at Delgado & Romanik obtained the same test kits used by law enforcement officers throughout the country and used them to test the THC content of hemp flower and CBD oil. Certificates of analysis from a federally-approved laboratory, which tested and approved these products for sale, were reviewed prior to testing the hemp and CDB oil.
Although the certificate of analysis for the hemp flower showed a THC level of barely 0.3%, it still tested positive for THC on the presumptive test. More alarming was the fact that the CBD oil we tested was marketed and approved for sale as containing 0% THC. The purported 0% THC CBD oil also tested positive on the presumptive test!
See video of the experiment here:
Consumers of CBD oil and hemp products should be aware that these products look, smell, feel, and will presumptively test positive for THC. That means you can be arrested for the possession of CBD oil and hemp flower that you legally purchased! You don’t need a medical marijuana card to possess CBD oil or hemp products, so a person in possession of a product that looks exactly like a substance that most law enforcement officers view as a dangerous drug is extremely troubling.
While the legislature takes its time sorting through the aftermath of the end of the ban on smoking medical marijuana and how to proceed in light of community pressure for full scale legalization, consumers need to be vigilant when possessing and transporting CBD and hemp products.
Our recommendation is to always possess a CBD or hemp product in its original packaging, ask for a certificate of analysis, and carry with you any medical recommendation for CBD or hemp use. While a law enforcement officer will still arguably have probable cause to seize your CBD and hemp and potentially arrest you, protecting yourself by having appropriate documentation could prevent seizure and arrest, or at the very least, help considerably in your defense.
The attorneys at Delgado & Romanik are passionate about defending our clients’ right to possess and use CBD, hemp, and medicinal marijuana. If you or someone you know has been arrested for cannabis possession or works in the CBD and hemp industry and needs legal assistance, please call us at 386.222.6677.
If you found this article helpful or want to learn more about the legal issues surrounding CBD, THC, and medical marijuana, check out some of our other drug crime resources:
Criminal Defense Attorney Tim Pribisco is a member of the NORML Legal Committee, which is a collection of attorneys dedicated to the overall goals of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). Like all of our criminal defense lawyers, Tim is passionate about helping those accused of marijuana-related crimes overcome the charges they're facing, including illegal possession of THC.