North Dakota tobacco shop owner faces criminal CBD charges

A North Dakota tobacco shop owner faces criminal charges for selling CBD products, a case that could test the state’s definition of the cannabinoid.

Falesteni Abuhamda, the owner of two Tobacco Depot stores, tried unsuccessfully to have his case dismissed by a judge, arguing that the CBD he was selling was legal, according to the Williston Herald.

Abuhamda argued that the CBD was derived from hemp stalks, which are legal to process in North Dakota, and not hemp flower, which is not legal to process. North Dakota allows hemp growing, but only for seed and fiber.

But a judge dismissed Abuhamda’s CBD arguments last week and set a trial for Dec. 11 on charges of delivery and possession of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school, possession of a controlled substance, possession and manufacturing of drug paraphernalia, unlawful advertising of drug paraphernalia and possession of hashish. Abuhamda may try his CBD defense again in front of a jury.

The case underscores legal uncertainty about CBD’s legality.

Many states consider CBD legal as long as it is derived from hemp that meets federal guidelines. But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has said that CBD is an illegal drug. The disputed definitions are headed for a federal appeals court in coming months.