A 31-year-old man has been arrested and charged with felony charges after police found CBD oil on him. Robert Faulkner, a resident of Lewis Centre, is set to face trial on January 28th at the Richland County Common Pleas Court.
Faulkner’s lawyer has called on state officials to dismiss the charges against his client. According to reports, Faulkner bought the CBD oil from a store because he suffers from anxiety.
James Mayer III, the attorney for Mansfield, said the call to dismiss the charges against the accused is not valid. On Wednesday, January 16th, James Mayer III told a court that Faulkner could not have the charges dropped “for a reason that is facially invalid.”
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a derivative of the cannabis plant. Despite its growing popularity, CBD products are currently not legal in Ohio. However, there is reportedly a loophole following the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill towards the end of last year. According to a small section in the Farm Bill, farmers in the United States are now allowed to grow industrial hemp. Hemp is different from marijuana which is illegal to grow or posses in most states. CBD and products made from hemp do not get you high since it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is present in the marijuana plant. Despite the difference, there is still some confusion about how lawmakers should regulate CBD products.
Robert Faulkner reportedly faces two fifth-degree felony charges of aggravated possession of drugs. Faulkner was indicted by a Richland County grand jury in June 2018. The charges against Faulkner came from a DUI arrest in Ontario in July 2017. Police officers reportedly found a bottle of CBD oil on the passenger seat of Faulkner’s vehicle.
According to Faulkner, he had purchased the bottle of CBD oil from a store. He revealed that the CBD oil bottle, which weighed one ounce, was already half full when he was arrested.
“I had bought it a week before in a head shop in Columbus,” Faulkner said in a statement.
Many CBD products are sold in shops and health food stores in Ohio. However, Ohio’s Pharmacy Board says the sale of CBD products must be carried out by a licensed dispensary.
Ohio’s medical marijuana law, which came into effect on September 8th, 2018, states that the sale of CBD oil is illegal. According to state officials, CBD oil is deemed illegal regardless of whether it was extracted from industrial hemp or the marijuana plant. The Pharmacy Board insists that all CBD oil products must be adequately tested under the same rule as cannabis.
According to the Ohio Pharmacy Board, CBD products can only be sold in the state via a medical marijuana controlled program dispensary. The Board has reportedly approved the licenses of over 50 medical marijuana dispensary – about five of those dispensaries are located in Franklin County.
“The message is clear that until dispensaries are operational, and none are right now, no one is allowed to possess or Sell CBD oil and other marijuana-related products. Still, some stores stocking CBD oil are continuing to sell it, despite the pharmacy board’s ruling,” said Jo Ingles of Ohio Public TV/Radio.
While the Pharmacy Board is in charge of approving dispensaries, the Ohio Department of Commerce is in charge of regulating testing labs, processors and cultivators.