Local authorities raided and padlocked 23 stores in the Nashville suburbs Monday because they sold CBD products.
Indictments were levied against 21 people who were selling “a candy that resembled Gummie Bears with CBD,” Nashville TV station WSMV reported.
In explaining the raid, Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said that cannabidiol is “an illegal drug” and CBD is “a derivative of marijuana,” according to WSMV.
But according to WSMV, Rutherford County District Attorney Jennings Jones said, “If you are selling (CBD) without a prescription or you’re not a pharmacy selling it to someone with a prescription for it, you’ve broken the law.”
The stores, mostly tobacco shops, were raided by local authorities after undercover officers purchased the products.
Authorities did not immediately identify the people facing criminal charges or what they are charged with.
Joe Kirkpatrick, president of the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association, said the businesses will be cleared of wrongdoing.
“The law is very clear that an ingestible or topical industrial hemp derived products are legal as long as the product contains less than 0.3% THC,” Kirkpatrick said in a statement provided to WSMV.
Confusion over CBD’s legality has resulted in sporadic store raids and arrests from Indiana to North Dakota.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has said that CBD is an illegal drug; Congress has seemingly contradicted that claim by legalizing hemp products in 2014.
A lawsuit to settle the matter will be argued Thursday in federal appeals court.
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