MARION — With their new business, Jeanette Ramirez and Hanna Weston have waded into the legally murky area of cannabidiol regulation.
Ramirez, a former legal assistant, and Weston, a retired lawyer, opened Nette and Hanna’s Apothecary Store and More in Marion on July 1, selling products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, a constituent of cannabis.
Believed to have powerful healing properties, CBD oil is available in many forms such as topical lotions and ingestible capsules and is used to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from insomnia to epilepsy.
But a lack of awareness around the legality of CBD has affected the new business.
“We can’t get a credit card machine or a bank account because we sell CBD,” Ramirez said. “It’s frustrating.”
CBD oil is made from cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in the hemp, or cannabis, plant. It owes its unclear legal status to the legal definition of marijuana in Iowa, which could be interpreted to include any compound derived from cannabis. But unlike THC, another chemical compound found in cannabis and the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, CBD is non-psychoactive.
The legal ambiguity around CBD oil — and the resulting challenges to businesses trying to sell it — can make it hard to come by in Iowa.
“For something that has all these benefits, there are a fair number of people who have to figure out where they can buy it,” Weston noted.
Ramirez and Weston committed to selling CBD oil after seeing its benefits firsthand.
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Three years ago, Ramirez was undergoing treatment for cancer and experiencing severe side effects. Weston, her friend and former employer, had relocated to Colorado, where CBD products are widely available. She encouraged Ramirez to try CBD oil.
“I had a medicine cabinet full of drugs, but CBD oil was the thing that helped me,” Ramirez said. “It’s God’s medicine.”
Ramirez, Weston and their supplier, Florida-based CBD manufacturer Green Roads World, take the position that CBD oil is legal in all 50 states. Green Roads’s website explains that provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill allow for research and marketing of industrial hemp containing less than .03 percent of THC.
The website further states that all Green Roads’ CBD products are made from industrial hemp with non-detectable levels of THC.
In addition to CBD oil products, Nette and Hanna’s Apothecary Store carries a variety of personal care products such as handmade bath salts and scrubs and holistic healing items such as organic teas and essential oils. Ramirez operates the store with Weston providing support and input from Colorado.
“We’re looking forward to helping people find what they need and understand the benefits of CBD oil,” Weston said.
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At a Glance
l Owners: Hanna Weston and Jeanette Ramirez
l Business: Nette and Hanna’s Apothecary Store and More
l Address: 892 Eighth Ave., Marion
l Phone: (319) 377-1969
l Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
l Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nette-Hannas-Apothecary-Store-More-700023117055835