Controversy over a cannabis compound remains amid a state ‘crackdown’

“We can sell things that I don’t personally make”
Updated: May. 28, 2019 at 9:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawai‘i Department of Health says cannabidiol (CBD) products sold without a prescription and outside of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries may be pulled from sale by health inspectors at any time.

However, many CBD products can still be found in stores statewide.

Sweet Treats Owner Kris Louie says she used to make her own CBD treats, until the state stepped in.

“I made brownies, my s’mores bars, my Rice Krispies Treats, would add it in to there," Louis said.

Louie stopped selling certain items when state health inspectors paid her a visit.

“The Department of Health came in and they made us pull it,” she said. “They were saying that because there’s not enough testing being done on the effects of CBD when you infuse it into foods.”

CBD is a compound in cannabis that doesn’t deliver the psychoactive effects of the compound THC.

It’s sold in a wide range of products that claim an abundance of health and wellness benefits.

Former Marine Michael Vernon uses it for pain relief.

“I was in the Marines for five years and I blew out my knees and I had shoulder surgery, so sometimes I get that pain. And I don’t like taking pain meds, because they’re addictive,” Vernon said.

The state says according to the Food and Drug Administration, the interstate sale and distribution of cannabis-derived products including products containing is illegal.

“Any products made with CBD, it’s adulterated, and therefore should not be sold," Bruce Anderson, Health Department Director, said.

However, it appears that the state’s crackdown isn’t a total ban.

Louie and others say they are allowed to keep CBD products packaged on the mainland. They just can’t prepare them themselves locally in the islands.

“They said we could sell whatever is already being made from national, bigger companies. Like we have chocolates, gummies, and whatnot. So we can sell things that I don’t personally make. She couldn’t really explain why. She just said that’s just the way it is,” Louie said.

State department officials said any establishment that fails to comply may lose their permit or may result in the closure of their business.

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