Muscatine County Attorney says CBD oil seized from health stores contains marijuana

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MUSCATINE, Iowa-- "This isn't something we just made up that we don't like. This is based on doing legal research," says Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren.

Ostergren says he's right, and business owners that had CBD oil in their shops are wrong.

Last month police seized thousands of dollars worth of CBD oil from local shops in Muscatine.

Shop owner Shelly Meier says police took $5,000 worth from her shop. She says her CBD is legal because it doesn't contain THC, the chemical that causes the psychoactive effects in marijuana.

But Ostergren says tests prove otherwise.

"We did submit the products we had seized during our investigation to the state crime lab. That testing comes back identifying it as containing marijuana. So that's what I have to go on with that lab analysis," says Ostergren.

Ostergren says THC was found in the products during that test. When asked how much THC was found, he replied with this emailed statement:

"The lab performed qualitative analysis – identifying what the substance was. We did not request quantitative analysis which would have showed THC levels. The lab analysis showed that the substances we tested contained marijuana which would mean that it had THC in it. It is not necessary for us to show a particular level of THC."

CBD is found in cannabis plants and hemp plants. But Ostergren says the law doesn't care about the source.

"The counter argument is that these are industrial hemp products. What we're told from the state is they still fall within the definition of marijuana," says Ostergren. "There certainly is evidence on my desk that would support criminal charges."

But he says he's not filing charges.

"I'd rather inform people about what's going on, what the law is, than educate people through making arrests and having criminal jury trials," says Ostergren.

He hopes business owners will do their research, hoping education will be enough to cure problems in the future.

"We have a higher expectation that if you're in business, you are familiar with what you're doing," says Ostergren.

The CBD oil that was seized from local shops is being held in Muscatine for evidence and won't be destroyed for the time being.

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