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CBD oil crackdown hits Findlay Market retailers

CBD Seltzer at Findlay Market
Posted at 1:10 PM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 18:21:47-05

CINCINNATI — Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen is one of the last places anyone would expect to run into problems with Ohio’s new medical marijuana laws. Until last week, Debbie Gannaway said she sold CBD Seltzer Water. Gannaway said she’s tried it herself and it helps with her arthritis.

“I truly believe that the anti-inflammatory aspect is real,” Gannaway said. “I don't know about the anxiety because that's not a thing for me. But, it clearly has medicinal qualities and health benefits.”

Last year, Ohio’s Pharmacy Board issued a clarification to a state law which lists cannabidiol, or CBD, as a marijuana product. What this means is CBD oil can only be sold in dispensaries in the state of Ohio. But it was only last week that the Ohio Department of Agriculture instructed the Cincinnati Health Department to enforce this part of the law and pull CBD oil products from the shelves at Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen and other businesses.

“Probably 1 percent of my overall sales,” Gannaway said. “Financially it's not going to kill me, but I've got a hundred or more dollars worth of inventory sitting there that I'm not allowed to sell. And I'm probably going to be told to throw it away.”

The owner of Dean's Mediterranean Imports, another Findlay Market staple, also carried CBD seltzers and oils. Kate Zaidan said the products were popular with customers.

“We really saw that it was a great product. I mean, we had customers coming back for it, asking us lots of questions,” Zaidan said. “Someone once compared it to drinking a fresh juice. It doesn't really do anything to you per se, but you just feel a little more revved up after and a little more awake.”

Gannaway and Zaidan said they are happy to comply with the new law, but the store owners said they’d like to see the new rules changed.

For now, Gannaway will focus on selling the classics.

“Beef chili of course is one of those things that we sell a lot of this time of year,” she said.