RACINE COUNTY — It may look like any gummy bear candy a person would eat, but some places are selling such products that contain cannabidiol (CBD), a substance found in marijuana.
On Tuesday, Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson said her office has received inquiries about the sale and possession of CBD; she sent a clear message that it is not allowed.
“Retailers at liquor stores and convenience stores across Racine County have begun to sell CBD gummy bears and CBD oil,” Hanson said. “I have advised law enforcement across the county that when they see these products in stores, they are to make contact with the store owner/management and determine if the product is being sold lawfully. If it is not, law enforcement will remove the product from the store shelves and ask for consent to search the store for other unlawful CBD products.”
The retailers, Hanson believes, are being misled about the product by distributors. She said the use and or possession of CBD oil or other products without a doctor’s prescription is illegal.
“My goal is not to prosecute people who have them, my goal at the outset is to educate people and get these kinds of products off of store shelves,” Hanson said. “There aren’t going to be police reports that accompany this, there aren’t going to be a referral for charges. We’re trying, this first go-around, to give people notice so that these products don’t show up in the hands of our kids.”
However, retailers caught selling a second time will be prosecuted, Hanson said.
The district attorney noted that there have been several stores that have had these products confiscated and Hanson said those products have sent to the state crime lab to be tested.
Unlike tetrahdrocannabinol, which gives users a euphoric or intoxicated feeling, CBD provides no such feeling and is instead used for health reasons.
“These vendors claim that the version of CBD they sell is legal because it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, making it by their interpretation, legal,” Hanson said. “It is not.”
Although Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in 2017 permitting the legal use of CBD, it is only allowed in certain circumstances, with a prescription. Research has shown that CBD has beneficiary results in some cases for treatment of pain, seizures and addiction.
According to state law, “an individual may possess CBD (without THC) if they also possess a certification issued by a physician.”
The law goes on to say the certification must include a date of issue no more than one year before date of possession; the name, address and telephone number of the physician; name, address and telephone number of the patient; and a “certification that the patient possesses the CBD to treat a medical condition.”
Hanson said other counties in the state have reported finding these products in stores and those products have tested positive for THC, “despite labeling to the contrary.”
“We want parents to be aware of these products, and cautious with children who may mistake these products for candy,” Hanson said. “We also know that young people may try to possess drugs disguised as candy to avoid detection. Law enforcement needs everyone to be vigilant to protect our children. We welcome information as to the sources of these products in Racine County.”
“These vendors claim that the version
of CBD they sell is legal because it
contains less than 0.3 percent THC,
making it by their interpretation,
legal. It is not.” Tricia Hanson, Racine County district attorney