North Dakota court says CBD status not a ‘matter of great public concern’

North Dakota’s highest court has decided not to rule on the legality of hemp-derived CBD, upholding a drug conviction for a vape-shop owner who sold CBD.

The court said that the retailer, Falesteni A. Abu Hamda, should have made his CBD argument earlier instead of accepting the state’s case against him.

Hamda was charged with seven drug crimes after police seized CBD vape pens and gummy bears from two of his Tobacco Depot shops in 2017.

“This is not the extraordinary case that cries out for our intervention,” Justice Lisa Faire McEvers wrote in the opinion. “Abu Hamda has not argued this is a matter of great public concern.”

The case tested the government’s reliance on a 2016 memo from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that CBD was a controlled substance. Congress has since removed the cannabinoid from the Controlled Substances Act if it comes from hemp.

The North Dakota court denied Abu Hamda’s appeal on procedural grounds and did not address how law enforcement should treat CBD now.