PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s marketed to help relieve pain and reduce anxiety and depression, but did you know CBD products could land you in jail?
Palm Beach police are putting out an urgent warning after a growing number of people have been arrested in possession of CBD oil that tested positive for THC.
Inside Earth Florida in downtown West Palm Beach, nearly everything sold contains CBD. The store manager said the demand is surging.
"I’ve seen it pick up a lot in the last six months," said Cameron Foidel. "I feel like people are becoming more educated."
But Palm Beach police are sounding the alarm and telling everyone to be careful.
"Recently, we’ve seen an uptick in people who have been arrested in possession of CBD oil," said Michael Ogrodnick, the Public Information Officer for the Palm Beach Police Department.
Police said that over the past month, a number of people have been arrested for unrelated offenses on Palm Beach, but they’ve also been in possession of CBD. After officers field tested it, Ogrodnick said it came back positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
"If they want to purchase it from a dispensary with a prescription, that’s the best way to do it. But to buy it from the shops where it’s unregulated and untested, it’s not a smart idea," Ogrodnick said.
Under federal law, CBD products with less than one percent THC are legal. According to the Department of Agriculture, Florida has not legalized CBD products sold outside a medical marijuana dispensary. Police are now warning people that you don’t always know what you’re getting.
"We have lab reports for every product in here or a code on the side of everything that makes it so we can pull that up right away, and you can have that piece of mind," Foidel said.
Ogrodnick said the department is not specifically targeting CBD oil, but if someone has it when they’re arrested, it will be tested. He said before buying any CBD product over the counter, you need to be smart.
"There could be other additives in the products that are advertised as CBD oil that might have an adverse effect on them, so we just want people to be careful," Ogrodnick said.
Possession of THC is a third-degree felony, which could lead up to five years in prison.
The Department of Agriculture said that once Florida’s hemp program takes effect, CBD products will become more regulated.