Alaska officials raided an unspecified number of recreational cannabis shops and seized “thousands of dollars worth of imported CBD oil,” the Alaska Journal reported.
A news release from the Alaska Marijuana Control Office confirmed Thursday that “several retail stores” appeared to be in violation of state laws that mandate specific testing, labeling and packaging for marijuana products. But executives from those shops told the newspaper they were confused because the seized oils were derived from hemp, not marijuana.
The incident illustrates the ongoing lack of clarity between federal and state law in differentiating between hemp products – which are legal to ship across state lines and are not governed as strictly as marijuana – and cannabis products, which must be produced in-state and can’t be taken across state lines.
“It was my understanding that hemp products and this product in particular were OK,” one Alaska rec shop owner told the Journal. “I was unaware that this would be an issue. I wouldn’t be selling it if I thought it would be a problem.”
The state doesn’t seem to have much in the way of answers; its statement said only that the control office will be monitoring the situation and that “further details will be released as they become available” regarding what MJ businesses can and cannot do with hemp and CBD.