URBANDALE, Iowa — Iowa leaders have created a medical marijuana monopoly, allowing five businesses to manufacture and dispense cannabidiol (CBD). But that hasn't stopped other companies from trying to help those in need.
Several stores around the metro and the state are selling CBD products. But some of them might not be selling for much longer.
Police have already shut down one store in Fayette County, and an Urbandale store fears the same thing could happen to them.
“It’s a miracle really. She used to take narcotic medicine and really doesn't take it at all anymore,” Missouri resident Tom Osborn said.
Osborn says it is all thanks to CBD.
“If you want scientific evidence. Try it if you have pain. Put it on,” Osborn said.
Osborn says CBD lotion relieves his back pain. CBD is a product of hemp. It has no THC, and when broken down it can be manufactured into an array of products such as candy, lotion and vaporizers. Osborn’s mother-in-law wants to try it, too.
“For the Alzheimer’s I got her the water-soluble, which is the one you put into water,” Osborn said.
Osborn gets his products from Your CBD Store in Urbandale. The store is not one of the five legal distributors in the state, and owner Laci Navin knows it.
“I don't know the intricacies of all these laws, and I hear many different things and different opinions, so it gets very difficult,” Navin said.
The state law is clear. A patient must have a state-approved disease to buy CBD through a state-approved dispensary.
Tim Welty, professor of clinical sciences at Drake University, says where it gets confusing is what the federal law allows.
“At the federal level, all forms of CBD are schedule-one drugs. They are illegal and have been shown to be potentially harmful,” Welty said. “There is one exception that was just made in the new Farm Bill that allowed for the production of hemp-based products.”
Welty says Iowa law hasn't caught up to federal law.
“What I am doing is definitely helpful for the community, for sure, and they have been very receptive, for sure, and supportive,” Navin said.
Welty says Iowa law supersedes federal law.
Not only are shops like this illegal, but the product is unregulated by the FDA, so it is unclear if it’s safe.
But Navin says all her products can be tracked back to the manufacturer.
The City of Urbandale is investigating.
Right now, there is at least one bill in the Iowa Legislature that could change the CBD law