Report: New Zealand health agency cracks down on illegal CBD sales

Authorities in New Zealand have threatened two hemp farmers with a $100,000 fine and loss of hemp license for selling products containing cannabidiol, which is permitted only in prescription medications in the country.

Sarah Gibson and Aaron Silcock, hemp growers in the town of Reefton in the island nation’s West Coast region, received the warning from New Zealand’s Medsafe medical regulatory body, local news outlet Stuff reported Wednesday.

Medsafe said the two products being sold by the couple’s retail outlet Larry’s Gold – EPIK Daily Drops and EPIK Hemp Balm – contained CBD, which has been defined as a scheduled ingredient and prescription medicine under New Zealand law.

According to the Stuff report, a Medsafe spokesman said that therapeutic claims about the two items were made, which violates a law that bans selling or advertising unapproved medicines.

Gibson said the couple had made no therapeutic claims but that customers had left reviews praising the products for minimizing aches and pains.

“We have sold these products for a year with absolutely no negative feedback,” Gibson said. “I don’t understand it.”