COLORADO SPRINGS – Right inside the lobby at Healing Canna, set apart from the secured inner dispensary, sits a trio of empty display cases which used to hold CBD products. Those products were all pulled off the shelves this week at the request of City regulators.
“On Monday, the City came in and informed us that there is a provision in the MMJ Code that does not allow us to sell pure CBD products or consumables that are not regulated through the marijuana system that we use,” explained district manager Ferris Olvera.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the therapeutic compound derived from cannabis plants. It’s not psychoactive, you don’t get high taking it, and you don’t need to have a Red Card in order to buy it.
In fact, CBD is most commonly from hemp which was decriminalized in last year’s farm bill. So, anyone can sell it. Well, almost anyone.
Colorado Springs City Code prevents licensed marijuana dispensaries from selling any products other than medical marijuana in their facilities. That code, 2.2.109(A)(17) states that is unlawful for a medical marijuana licensee to, “sell, transfer, or possess any products other than medical marijuana or medical marijuana-infused products or nonconsumable cannabis related products and accessories.”
Olvera said City officials told them previously that they were in violation.
“When they did mention it to us, they also thought it was kind of a weird rule. So they didn’t feel like enforcing it at the time,” he said. ” I’m not sure what changed but they did enforce it.”
A spokesperson for the police department explained that City Council wrote the code this way to make sure all products sold in dispensaries were properly tested per state regulations. Since CBD isn’t marijuana, there is no requirement for that testing. A city spokesperson told us the Clerk Sarah Johnson is aware of the issues surrounding hemp derived CBD and is thinking of updating the code to have more specific language.
In the meantime, it’s a costly code violation. Olvera said the wholesale cost of their inventory of CBD products which were pulled topped $10,000. Their vendor, Discover CBD, operates a pair stand-alone stores in Colorado Springs and is not affected by City code because CBD is the only product they sell.