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Have a Heart Compassionate Care, 3615 Ninth Ave., is one of five licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Iowa.

Officers of the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force have hand delivered letters to a number of Council Bluffs businesses informing owners that the sale of and/or possession of products containing CBD is illegal in the state of Iowa.

Only one business in Council Bluffs is licensed by the state to sell CBD products: Have a Heart Compassionate Care, 3615 Ninth Ave.

As allowed by the state, there are only five licensed CBD oil dispensaries in Iowa. They are located in: Council Bluffs, Davenport, Sioux City, Windsor Heights and Waterloo.

The letter notifies owners of local businesses that are not licensed to discontinue the sale of any products containing CBD and remove those items from their stores immediately.

Lt. Chad Meyers of the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force said owners were notified in the letters distributed last week that officers will be conducting compliance checks in the future and will take appropriate enforcement actions should they find businesses in violation of the law.

The letter included a clarification from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller on the retail sale of CBD and hemp in Iowa.

Miller’s comments notified business owners that because cannabidiol — CBD — is derived from parts of the cannabis plant that are included in the definition of marijuana, CBD is considered marijuana under Iowa law. Any product containing any amount of CBD is therefore classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

“The Medical Cannabidiol Act allows for the manufacturing and distribution of medical cannabidiol only through Iowa’s two licensed manufacturers and only to individuals with state-issued registration cards and only from Iowa’s five licensed dispensaries,” Miller wrote.

“It currently remains illegal in Iowa to sell, manufacture or distribute CBD products outside of the five licensed retailers.”

Meyers said the letter follows receipt of complaints regarding the sale of oils and edibles containing CBD by Council Bluffs businesses other than the city’s one state-licensed dispensary.

The Council Bluffs dispensary offers cannabidiol (CBD) capsules, topical creams and tinctures (administrated with droppers).

The products are produced by MedPharm, currently the only sanctioned manufacturer in Iowa.

“Our goal is to help retailers understand they can’t sell products containing CBD,” Meyers said. “We’d be happy if we’re not forced to take any enforcement action — if retailers that have these products would just remove them from their shelves.”

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