Des Moines Register reported that on October 15, officers from the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force purchased several products from the store—a pack of CBD gummies, hemp extract oil, and CBD lotion—which were sent to a lab for testing and shown to contain CBD. Officers went to the store again on Monday and purchased another pack of CBD gummies; two days later, they arrested the retailer and charged her with two counts of controlled substance violation and failure to pay tax on an unlawful substance.
KCCIquoted Polk County Sgt. Heath Osberg as saying: “Any part of marijuana, whether it’s oils or THC or a mixture of the plant itself, any of those is considered marijuana. In the state of Iowa, marijuana is illegal. If you don’t have the state-issued medical card and you’re not getting it from one of the five dispensaries here in Iowa, it’s illegal and you can be subject to charges.” He added: “Going to a legit store, looks like legit merchandise, but it’s black and white in the code books that it’s illegal here in the state of Iowa.”
Des Moines Registernoted that the arrest was part of a task force investigation of businesses selling CBD in central Iowa that began after complaints had been filed in multiple counties. The report added that Osberg said that officers were unable to find CBD at some stores, while at others officers warned owners to remove the products from their shelves or face charges.
KCCIquoted a statement by Scheril Murray Powell, the attorney representing Your CBD Store's parent company: "It is truly unfortunate that the Mid-Iowa Nacrotics Enforcement Task Force has decided that the best use of its time is to target small business owners. Law enforcement must make sure that the laboratory testing used to determine criminality must be accurate. We fear that this responsibility was neglected in this case."
TheRegisterreported that, while Osberg did not say which other stores had been investigated, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in West Des Moines was visited by two plainclothes officers with the task force and informed that the products needed to be removed from shelves.
Fresh Thyme toldWholeFoodsMagazine in a statement: “We believe CBD products provide real help to people who need them to relieve pain and anxiety and for wellbeing. We continue to work with our industry-leading vendors to educate the public, legislators, and law enforcement about these products and their safety. Of course, we follow local laws and regulations at all times.”