COLUMBUS, Ohio- Officials in Ohio are cracking down on CBD oil sales.
Although CBD products have been sold in stores throughout the state for several years, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has now decided that these sales are illegal for most businesses. Now, only state-approved cannabis dispensaries will be able to sell CBD oil.
While medicinal cannabis has been legalized in Ohio, there are no shops currently operating. For patients in need, they could be caught between a rock and a hard place as they wait for dispensaries to open.
Businesses accustomed to offering customers these products are now trying to liquidate their inventory. The sign on the counter of Smokers Plus, a Dayton shop that sells glass pipes, vaporizers, tobacco products, and CBD oil, reads “Final sales – all CBD now 10 percent off,” according to WHIO TV.
Rabi Ahmad, the owner of Smokers Plus, feels that he may lose business because of the board’s decision.
“I think this is a leading product. Within one or two years, this product has become so popular,” he said.
CBD’s rise in popularity is likely due to its medicinal properties. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a psychedelic effect and is commonly used to treat chronic pain.
Ahmad’s mother uses CBD as a sleep aid and to treat pain. He says that most of his customers are older.
“Senior citizens mostly buy the CBD. The young kids, they don’t buy CBD at all,” he said.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy claims to have made their decision because they want to track the source of all CBD products and the ingredients used. Ahmad feels that the state is simply looking to capitalize on the popularity of CBD and to control the market.
“The prices, if they’re going to skyrocket, are going to hurt customers’ pockets,” he said.
The news may be tough for stores accustomed to selling CBD products as well as patients in need. When Ohio’s dispensaries are fully operational, the board’s decision could benefit cannabis businesses by eliminating competition from unlicensed shops.
Medicinal cannabis was legalized in Ohio in 2016. Recently, officials issued 56 dispensary licenses, though none are serving patients yet.