Despite being legal in Ireland, one legitimate CBD business owner is currently facing arrest and possibly jail time for selling CBD.
Jim Weathers was sure he was complying with the law as he proudly built his CBD business in County Cork, Ireland. Weathers operates two stores, aptly named “Puff n Stuff.”
The debacle started last November when a seemingly average customer purchased some CBD flowers from one of the stores. As soon as that customer left the store, he was pulled over by cops and searched. The officers at the scene confiscated the CBD flowers, despite being told by Weathers that, “the flower contained only the negligible, legal amount of intoxicating THC.”
As Weathers told Irish Times, “I had certificates of analysis to prove it.” With that, the police took various CBD flower samples from the store for further analysis. Weathers didn’t hear back from the police in weeks and assumed the matter was over, and the case closed.
Weathers tried to educate the police about CBD, noting that CBD flowers are being sold across Ireland. “In fact within a kilometer distance of this premises, there are 8 shops selling CBD products,” Weathers said. “They didn’t even know the difference between hemp and cannabis,” he added.
Then, May came around and Weathers would find his world turned upside down. One of his stores was raided, and at least 2kg of CBD products were confiscated. The police confiscated these on the basis that the sample they had taken from the customer back in November tested positive for THC. However, the fact that the THC was under the legal limit of 0.2% was something the police missed totally.
Having had his stock taken, Weathers assumed he’d heard the last of it from the local police force. However, just this month, he received a worrying phone call advising him of a warrant for his arrest. He duly attended the local police station and was told he might get a prison sentence for “dealing.” For his part, Weathers is understandably confused and outraged.
He told the publication, “It is frustrating that the health authorities have not shared their information on CBD with gardaí (police) authorities,” he said. Meanwhile, The Irish Health Service Executive and the EU allow the sale of CBD as long as it contains less than the requisite 0.2% THC. For that matter, gardaí is drawing on the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, which prohibits any amount of THC in any form.
Weathers is an American who is currently seeking Irish citizenship. However, he is now worried that the warrant for his arrest could affect his chances of becoming an Irish citizen. “I’m not feeling good, to be honest. This is a debacle. I’ve spent five years trying to meet the requirement which I have finally done. This could be a major factor in that not happening,” Weathers said according to an Irish Times report.
Weathers noted than when he first entered the CBD industry, in 2017, he had no issues with the police at all. It was only later in 2018 when his CBD flowers were taken for testing that the problems started. He also told reporters than many of his customers are elderly people who use CBD to treat arthritis and other issues.
And while it remains to be seen what will happen to Weathers in light of his recent arrest, many are calling for clear direction from Irish authorities and law enforcement, when it comes to the question of legal CBD.