CBD store owner provides unique perspective on medical marijuana debate

OKLAHOMA CITY – As the state of Oklahoma nears the medical marijuana vote – a tale of two perspectives.

One of them is a doctor and state senator who supports medical marijuana but not State Question 788. The other is the owner of a CBD store who said he will vote yes but there is a twist.

EJ Bancroft sells CBD products at his CannaHealth of Oklahoma stores. He said he will be voting for SQ 788 and will sell some of the products it legalizes.

However, he said you’ll never see smokable marijuana on his shelves.

“There’s nothing you can get from smoking pot that you can’t get from any of these products,” Bancroft said.

He said, when a person smokes marijuana, the effect is more psychoactive than medicinal.

He said that’s because the consumer gets higher levels of THC than CBD due to the simplicity of its processing as compared to that of infused products.

“There’s no extraction processes, quality control, anything like that,” Bancroft said. “You just cut it from the plant, stick it in a jar and sell it to the end user.”

Bancroft said he thinks SQ 788 is too vague in terms of regulations but will still vote yes on Tuesday in hopes more regulations will be added.

“It’s not like we’re going to vote it in tomorrow and, the next day, everybody’s walking the streets smoking a joint,” he said. “It’s not going to work that way.”

Senator Ervin Yen, who is a doctor, authored a bill in the past to legalize medical marijuana and the bill that legalized CBD, but he is voting no on SQ 788.

“I’m for CBD and medical marijuana,” Yen said. “That’s why I wrote a medical marijuana bill two years ago, but I’m absolutely opposed to 788 because it’s not medical.”

Yen also has concerns with the regulations. He believes the specifications on which physicians can prescribe it are too vague and thinks there need to be specific qualifying conditions for the use of the drug.

“It needs to be treated like any other drugs that doctors prescribe,” Yen said.

Bancroft said, come Tuesday, his vote is still yes.

“There’s always going to be a reason to not vote it in, so it’s now or never,” he said.

In reference to the regulations they have concerns over, there are plans in the works to address them.

Bud Scott, the director of New Health Solutions of Oklahoma, which funds the ‘Yes on 788 Campaign,’ said the organization has prepared more than 300 pages of proposed regulations if the state question passes.

Governor Fallin also said she expects to call lawmakers back for a special session if it passes.

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Oregon’s Booming CBD Market Readies For A Crackdown

The first rendering from hemp plants extracted from a super critical CO2 extraction device on its way to becoming fully refined CBD oil spurts into a large beaker at New Earth Biosciences in Salem, Oregon.
The first rendering from hemp plants extracted from a super critical CO2 extraction device on its way to becoming fully refined CBD oil spurts into a large beaker at New Earth Biosciences in Salem, Oregon.

The market for the non-psychoactive ingredient of cannabisCBD — is growing rapidly.

But there’s concern its medical effects are being oversold.

CBD is marketed for everything from back pain to multiple sclerosis, and often appears in products like creams and chocolates.

Speaking on OPB’s “Think Out Loud,” attorney Amy Margolis said the cannabis market is exploding.

“We’re seeing CBD oil that’s being imported. We’re seeing CBD oil that’s being derived from hemp that’s cultivated here. And everywhere we turn, we’re seeing new CBD products; we see them on Amazon, we see them in grocery stores,” Margolis said. “But because nobody’s tracking that information, it’s hard for us to grasp the enormity of the market.”

Still, Margolis is expecting a regulatory crackdown over all the medical claims being made for CBD.

“I think we’ll see this backlash happen in two places. From state departments of justice and I then think we’ll see that on a federal level, assuming we don’t see some other broad action to help regulate it,” she said.


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Indiana family treating daughter with CBD oil abruptly moves to Colorado after issues with DCS

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An Indiana family feels it was bullied out of the state it’s always called home.

Last year, Lelah and Jade Jerger said their now 2-year-old daughter Jaelah was medically kidnapped and forced to use a certain medicine for her epilepsy when, in reality, CBD oil was more effective. That’s when the family starting having problems with the Department of Child Services.

“The DCS cases just kept coming, and we kept getting reported for just the most insane things,” Lelah Jerger said.

The allegations included that the Jergers were being abusive to each other or doing drugs.

“False allegations. That’s what they are,” Lelah Jerger said. “They’re all false allegations.”

On Thursday, there was yet another call from DCS.

“We don’t know what, because she wouldn’t tell us the allegations over the phone,” Lelah Jerger said.

Without a warrant, the Jerger’s attorney said not to meet with DCS. They already had plans to move to Colorado but decided to abruptly leave that night.

“We knew we had to get out of there. We had to get out of there now,” Lelah Jerger said. “It was if we stick around tonight, are they going to get a court order … or what are they going to do? We don’t know.”

The family’s world was turned upside down.

“We didn’t expect to leave the way we did leave,” Lelah Jerger said. “We didn’t get to say goodbye to a lot of people. We hadn’t gotten reported to DCS until our CBD investigation.”

But that CBD oil case was closed months ago.

“Are they really getting reports or are they trying to come back on us?” Lelah Jerger said. “Because we did get the case closed, and we’ll never know.”

The Jergers also wonder if it’s retaliation for their lawsuit against DCS.

“I’m going to be honest: I don’t see us returning,” Lelah Jerger said.

As for the Jergers’ lawsuit, the state filed a motion to dismiss and close the case. Their attorney filed a response and is now waiting on a judge’s ruling.

Earlier this year, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill allowing sale of CBD oil in Indiana

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Congress May Soon Make CBD From Hemp Legal

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June 18, 2018 — Legislation that includes a measure to legalize hemp, rich in the compound used to produce numerous CBD oil products, made significant progress last week. The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee overwhelmingly endorsed the Farm Bill, known also as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, by a vote of 20 to 1 on June 13.

Although it’s a type of cannabis plant like marijuana, hemp does not produce the ”high” of THC. It’s often used in industrial products and also contains cannabidiol, or CBD; much more, in fact, than cannabis or marijuana. CBD is used in products that claim to relieve pain, ease stress, help you sleep, improve skin, and pump up mascara’s lash-thickening power. It is expected to become a $1 billion-a-year market by 2020.

Although CBD is legal in numerous states, the federal government considers it a Schedule I drug and therefore illegal to have. The Farm Bill proposes, among its many provisions, legalizing the CBD that comes from industrial hemp. Currently, growing industrial hemp is legal on a federal level only for research or under a state pilot program in states that have legalized it.

Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an industry group, says the Farm Bill includes the Hemp Farming Act, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and endorsed by 25 other senators, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

“It would permanently remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, making it an agricultural commodity” rather than a Schedule 1 substance, Miller says. “And it defines hemp as all parts of the plant under 3% THC, including extracts, derivatives and cannabinoids (such as CBD) from the cannabis plant.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the only dissenting vote from the Senate committee, had filed an amendment that would have said extracts, derivatives, and cannabinoids would still be considered Schedule I controlled substances, just like heroin.

But after a public outcry, Grassley’s amendment was never voted on, Miller says.

McConnell, the Senate leader, says the farm bill should be voted on by the end of the month. It must then go to the House for consideration. The current farm bill expires at the end of September.

The House might not pass it, and it might not include hemp in their bill,” Miller says. “[But] if it passes with the current language, then hemp-derived CBD would be legal from a federal perspective” if President Donald Trump signed it into law.

Trump has not made his views on hemp public, but last week he told reporters he supported ending the federal ban on marijuana. Such a move would remove the drug from its Schedule I purgatory.

Trump’s position runs counter to that of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, an ardent opponent of marijuana legalization.

But Hemp “would be an agricultural commodity,” Miller says, if the bill becomes law. “However, that doesn’t mean the FDA won’t assert jurisdiction over how it is marketed. And certain states could prohibit sales of CBD or growing hemp.”

Hemp could be used in dozens of other products, including car paneling, concrete, and horse bedding, Miller says, to name just a few.

“Nearly everything that is plastic could be made with hemp, but in a biodegradable, renewable way,” Miller says. “This is a great cash crop for farmers. We have a lot of tobacco farmers moving to hemp. They used to grow a crop that kills people. Now they are growing a crop that helps people.”

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