Not here, Mayor Tony Kennon says.
During a recent Orange Beach City Council meeting, a new law was read into the record restricting what CBD oil stores can sell and how they can advertise.
“Essentially, it’s an anti-head shop ordinance,” Kennon said. “Can’t sell any kind of drug paraphernalia, T-shirts with marijuana leaves, none of that kind of nonsense. But CBD oil, they can sell that.”
But only if it is certified as having 0.03 percent or less of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Industrial hemp, a member of the same plant family as marijuana, contains minimal or no amounts of THC.
“The ordinance essentially says their products have to be stamped and labeled and tested by an independent lab,” Kennon said. The City Council is expected to pass the ordinance at its Sept. 3 meeting.
Chase Smith, who is hoping to open Lotus Orange Beach in the Rouses shopping center on the beach road in Orange Beach said most shops would be able to easily follow the new rules. But he disagrees with language that says employees can’t “represent that hemp or hemp extracts have therapeutic benefits for any medical disease or condition, unless such claim has been approved by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration].”
“I’m OK with most of the ordinances. Any reputable store should be able to follow the rules as written,” Smith said. “However, they are doing their constituents a disservice if I’m not able to speak about the effects of the CBD and the best way to take them and which products work best for which issues the customer may be experiencing. I understand their reasoning for the most part.”
Christian Butts of Seedless Green in Elberta applied for a business license in Orange Beach the same day as Smith and partner Chad Kirkland. On July 16 the City Council voted for a 90-day moratorium on business licenses for CBD stores to buy time to draft an ordinance regulating them.
Butts’ store and logo use a hemp leaf — identical to a marijuana leaf — in its advertisements and on its products. He is also a manufacturer of the products and hopes to wholesale them to stores in Orange Beach, and Lotus is a likely customer.
“As for T-shirts, flags and similar merchandise, they might want to be a little more specific while remembering this is America and free speech is important,” Butts said. “Obscenity should be the line.”
Specifically, the ordinance says CBD shops cannot offer “rolling papers, cigars used to fill with marijuana (aka ‘blunts’), pipes, bongs, roach clips and e-cigarettes, which give the overall impression that the retailer is selling recreational drugs, rather than CBD extracts.”
Butts said he also finds parts of the new law contradictory.
“It makes no sense to have analytics proving a product is safe for human consumption when, by this very order, none of it should be an edible,” Butts said.
“That being said, if it can’t be therapeutic and it can’t be a food, then what else is it other than for recreation or industrial purposes?”
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