CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Four years ago, Iowa started allowing cannabinol, or CBD oil for certain medical treatments. The state expanded access two years ago, allowing its production and sale.
The CBD comes from the cannabis plant but has little to no THC that creates the high from marijuana.
Some businesses in Iowa, including one bar in Cedar Rapids, thought they could sell it.
But the state recently blocked that bar from selling CBD infused drinks.
TV9 first reported in March that Uptown Live, on 1st Avenue Southeast in Cedar Rapids, planned to sell CBD infused drinks that might not be legal in Iowa.
The debate on if it is legal is still ongoing.
In March Cedar Rapids Police and the Linn County Attorney told TV9 selling CBD infused drinks is legal, but the state said otherwise and launched an investigation into Uptown Live.
Uptown Live’s owner Gerald Seals wanted to put CBD oil in his margaritas for therapeutic reasons, but he put that plan on hold when TV9 found out the state was investigating.
Seals says CBD can help people cope with nausea, anxiety, and pain. But the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals sent him a letter in June saying CBD is not approved for use in food or drinks in Iowa.
Over-the-counter CBD oils are also illegal to buy. But that hasn’t stopped people from selling it anyway. People wanting to use it have to get it prescribed by a doctor.
In a statement to TV-9, Seals said, “I understand the decision of the Alcohol division. The goal has been to force the conversation & educate about CBD. With Illinois being right next door, I’m looking forward to seeing how Iowa lawmakers adjust to Illinois passing of socialized marijuana. It’s going to be very interesting, how this plays out in Iowa.
I say this because if the alcohol divisions position is saying it’s illegal because it’s unhealthy or unsafe, why would it be legal to put CBD in cocktails in Illinois or is the alcohol division saying no because the health department and FDA is saying no? If so, that in itself makes the conversation just that more complex, with a market of a million other items that are sold that are legal that are not FDA approved. I’m not saying that I am an advocate for Marijuana, but what I am saying is that the regulations regarding FDA approved products should be the same across the board.”