Two cannabidiol (CBD) oil shops opened recently in Wichita Falls against the backdrop of the Texas Legislature voting to loosen medical cannabis laws.
But CBD American Shaman of Wichita Falls does not sell products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and CBD Plus USA’s Wichita Falls Store offers “non-narcotic health solutions,” according to the companies’ information.
THC is a psychoactive substance that imparts a high feeling, and it’s illegal in Texas except under a strict medical program.
“I have not actually signed the waiver from American Shaman to carry the THC,” Emely Beth Epistola, owner of the local CBD American Shaman franchise shop, said Tuesday, May 28.
CBD oil has become popular with consumers seeking an alternative remedy for everything from pain to anxiety and depression to cancer symptoms.
“It actually will give you … relief,” Epistola, a licensed vocational nurse, said.
The new shops are franchise locations.
CBD American Shaman at 2708 Southwest Parkway, Suite 120, is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The shop can be reached at 940-400-4490.
Epistola said she has been open since April 5 and has seen 250 customers come through the door since then.
The Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting to welcome her store Tuesday, May 28.
CBD Plus USA’s Wichita Falls Store at 2910 Kemp Blvd., Suite 118, is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. The store can be reached at 833-422-3758, extension 1000.
The owner of the CBD Plus USA’s Wichita Falls location could not be reached for comment Tuesday, May 28.
Both shops offer CBD oil derived from industrial hemp, according to franchise information.
Hemp is a different species of cannabis from marijuana, which contains higher percentages of THC.
The Legislature sent a medical cannabis measure, House Bill 3703, to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature Tuesday, May 28.
The bill expands the medical use of low-THC cannabis by qualified physicians for patients with certain medical conditions.
Under current Texas law, only patients with intractable epilepsy who qualify under the Texas Compassionate Use Program can buy specially produced CBD oil. It must include no more than 0.5 percent THC.
The new legislation expands the use of low-THC cannabis to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, terminal cancer, autism, muscle spasticity, seizure disorder, an incurable neurodegenerative disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
And no more than 0.5 percent THC by weight is permitted.
In the eyes of Texas law enforcement, CBD oil with even a trace of THC could lead to arrest.
Sgt. Harold McClure of the Wichita Falls Police Department said possessing any amount of THC is an offense.
If CBD oil tests positive for THC, then the oil’s entire weight is considered in determining charges, McClure said in an email.
Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, possessing less than one gram results in a state jail felony, and larger amounts bring felony charges.
A state jail felony is punishable by 180 days to two years confinement in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000.
A third-degree felony for possession of more than one gram and less than four grams is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.