The consumer retail titan Target surprised many by advertising CBD products at their website, but then removed them on Thursday after the media jumped on the story.
It all started when people began noticing that Target was brazenly advertising four hemp supplement products from CW Hemp in their online store.
CW Hemp is the Colorado-based cannabis company that created the famous “Charlotte’s Web” CBD strain, named after a young medical cannabis patient named Charlotte Figi. CW Hemp excitedly stated on Thursday morning that their CBD-derived products were “going mainstream.”
The products were up for about a week by most accounts, but by Thursday afternoon all traces of the CBD products were removed from Target.com.
Target spokesperson Kate Decker explained: “We started carrying Charlotte’s Web hemp extract items last week on Target.com. After further review, we’ve decided to remove it from our assortment.”
There’s some confusion as to whether or not hemp-derived CBD is actually legal in all 50 states. Due to the Agricultural Act of 2014, states were allowed to grow industrial hemp. In Section 7607 of the bill, industrial hemp is legally defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
This new definition and legal aspects of hemp production convinced many businesses that hemp-derived CBD, produced strictly from industrial hemp, is legal. Many business have run with that assumption, causing a massive growth spurt in the hemp/CBD industry.
However, last December, the DEA reiterated their stance on CBD, stating that it remains a Schedule I drug and is still federally illegal, and giving it a new code for “marihuana extract,” defined as “containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin.”
This has left many retailers and businesses confused about the actual legal status of hemp-derived CBD products. Clearly, it remains in a gray area of the law in states where cannabis is not legal.
“There are countless online retailers that are advertising CBD on a flimsy legal construction that hemp-derived CBD is legal,” NORML political director Justin Strekal tells Freedom Leaf. “The DEA has explicitly reiterated their stance that CBD products are still federally illegal. Those who traffic CBD under the delusion that it’s legal in all 50 states are nothing but liars, hucksters and thieves.
“Not a week goes by where we don’t get a call from a scared convenience store owner in Indiana, or a headshop owner in Oklahoma, who’s getting shut down or being threatened over believing a lie that they can sell CBD in their stores. NORML absolutely supports the use of CBD, but does not support deceiving people into thinking it’s legal in all 50 states.”
Currently, Walmart.com offers multiple lines of CBD products at their online store, including brands like Maintoba, CBDfx, Nutiva and Serenity. Rather than sell CBD products directly, Walmart uses their website as a third-party seller.
Similarly, Amazon.com is also just a third-party provider of CBD products so they assume no legal liability. But the simple fact that these massive chains are willing to put CBD on their sites shows a willingness to delve into the new industry, if only a little bit.
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