The legality of the sale and possession of CBD oil in South Dakota is blurred after a modified law led to differences of opinion.

While the state legislature was completing its work in March, the new state attorney, Jason Ravnsborg, announced that all forms of CBD, also known as cannabidiol, were illegal oil in South Dakota. South.

But prosecutors charged with potentially charging people for selling and detaining CBD oil are not as certain. Some Sioux Falls companies stock CBD oil, while others have removed them from their shelves and business owners have stated that customers did not know their business. they could buy it legally.

Joshua Sopko started selling several forms of CBD oil at his Juniper store in Sioux Falls a few weeks ago, as customers constantly demanded it and was in keeping with the store's mission to provide natural skincare products. Its products come from a company that turns them from hemp seed to the final product. He knows his origin. He said that he believed it was legal to sell CBD oil in South Dakota, but he still fears that he could be arrested and sued for it. .

"I do not think the state has the right to legislate, it's a supplement, and it's no different from vitaminized water, energy at 5 o'clock, or anything like that." number of essential oils that people consume daily, "said Sopko.

Legislative changes leave a void

The 2018 Federal Farm Bill, legalized by the federal government, is a marijuana strain that can be harvested for cannabidiol, which does not have an intoxicant effect.

Although products containing CBD are gaining popularity across the country, few federal guidelines are still in effect. The US Department of Agriculture is expected to issue hemp guidelines this fall, and the US Food and Drug Administration has formed a task force to study ways to legally market the hemp crop. CBD.

In 2017, South Dakota added cannabidiol to the list of substances controlled by the state, a list of substances closely monitored by the government, as they can be abused and addictive. At the same time, they have exempted "cannabidiol, an FDA approved drug" in the definition of marijuana.

Legislators have overturned this decision this year by removing cannabidiol from the state annex to reflect the federal law, which has no cannabidiol in the annex on controlled substances. But they did not change the definition of marijuana.

The legislature also rejected the bill to legalize industrial hemp this year, which would have clearly legalized CBD oil in the state.

The changes have left a "void" in the state's controlled substance laws, according to Minnehaha County Attorney Aaron McGowan and Lincoln County Attorney Tom Wollman

"This gap has left the legality of CBD-based petroleum products open to different interpretations," they said in a joint statement.

Pennington County lawyer Mark Vargo said he had decided not to sue for CBD oil because he did not believe that a state law criminalized the CBD – as long as the product actually contained CBD and not marijuana.

"It's only CBD oils made from marijuana seeds or hemp, these are not illegal under South Dakota law," she said. he declared.

The March 25 announcement of Ravnsborg stated that the use or possession of all forms of CBD oil was illegal under state law, with the exception of the prescription drug Epidiolex approved by the FDA, which is used to treat a rare form of epilepsy.

Ravnsborg's determination was based on the definition of marijuana in the list of controlled substances and the law defining controlled substance offenses in the state, said Tim Bormann, Ravnsborg's chief of staff. Ravnsborg's position is that "CBD oil is a product of the cannabis plant, of the genus cannabis plant," he said.

The legislature, not the executive, decides state laws and the legislature has removed the CBD from state law, Vargo said.

"The executive should not rule by presumption," he said.

He added that differing opinions mean that the people of Pennington County do not know if they can legally own the CBD and if the Attorney General's office could sue if it does not.

McGowan and Wollman discussed with law enforcement officials how to deal with CBD oil cases. They examine it on a case-by-case basis and have not made any permanent decisions on the subject, they said in the statement.

"In the meantime, any natural person or company that manufactures, distributes or possesses such substances must exercise caution," they said.

The way to clarify the situation depends on whether the legislator intends to legalize the CBD, Vargo said. Legislators can legislate on the treatment of CBD in the same way as an over-the-counter drug if they are concerned about the quality control of the product, or re-enter the CBD in the list of controlled substances by crime or to repress it as a crime.

"They had many different options available to them and when they removed the CBD from Appendix IV, they did not use any," Vargo said.

Already, a criminal charge on the CBD

The CBD oil laws and the way they should be enforced "are at best puzzling" and when the American Civil Liberties Union began to study this issue after the announcement of Ravnsborg in March, "we had the impression of opening a Pandora's box," Libby Skarin said. , Policy Director at the ACLU.

A Minnehaha County Person Currently Charged With Class 5 Crime For CBD Oil Possession – Bernard Davis, An Alaskan Resident, Was Arrested More Than This Month For Possession Of Oil From CBD at Sioux Falls Regional Airport, according to his lawyer, Clint Sargent.

Although the ACLU is not involved in this case, Skarin pointed out that a conviction for a crime punishable by imprisonment and that the criminal record could affect life and employment from an individual.

Melissa Mentele, executive director of the New Approach South Dakota cannabis reform group, said that the Legislative Assembly "can not get the horse back into the stable" at the moment because too many residents are using CBD oil.

"It's as illegal as the water coming out of the tap," said Mentele. "This is not illegal in South Dakota.You can not sue a case on a law that does not exist."

Sopko said he would like to see clarification on the state law. One of the biggest problems is that customers are afraid of CBD oil because of the legal differences that currently exist in the state. He stated that he thought it was morally unfair that the state dictated not to sell a product while the market required it.

"People come in and ask me all this and say," Well, I do not want to hide that from the cops, "he said.

Divergent opinions expose people to the risk of breaking the law without realizing that they do, Skarin said. "The ignorance of the law is not a defense" is usually true, but it is not the case when it is oil of CBD in South Dakota, she said.

"This is not ignorance of the law, it is not even able to understand or we can not even agree on what our law means as South Dakotans – and we are in check people who end up in jail or with criminal lockers for something that is completely inappropriate to have that kind of response, "she said.

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