The store owner claims that she will continue to fight
On March 15, Duncanville, TX police raided two smoke shops, seizing all CBD products claiming that it was marijuana. According to Amy Wazwaz, the owner of GM Tobacco’s two locations, officers confiscated approximately $60,000 worth of products and nearly $15,000 in cash from store safes and cash registers.
Ironically, on the same day of the raid, the Texas Department of Health declassified hemp as a controlled substance. Despite promises from the District Attorney for Dallas County that CBD cases would not be prosecuted, police took no notice. In their statement, they reported seizing “over 30 pounds of marijuana” and “hundreds of pounds of CBD oil in various forms, weapons and other evidence pertinent to the case.”
Wazwaz, of course, insists that the “marijuana” that the police seized was actually CBD-hemp flower, which looks very much the same as recreational cannabis, but contains only trace amounts of THC. No arrests were made, but the investigation is still ongoing and evidence is being processed.
According to police, undercover buys were conducted. The purchased items were tested and some of the products were reportedly “identified as marijuana.”
During the raid, employee cell phones were confiscated, as well as the DVR recorders linked to the stores’ security systems.
Wazwaz was particularly disheartened by the aggressive manner of police. “Even though we gave them the keys to our safe and asked them if they would like us to show them how to open it, they said no,” she said. “Instead of using the keys, they destroyed the safe with the tools they were using to open, which made it useless.”
Wazwaz was obliged to purchase a new safe. Police also broke the door of the store office, rather than ask for the keys.
CBD confusion continues to reign on both the state and national level. In December, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law thereby legalizing industrial hemp cultivation. But in Texas, the state hasn’t yet authorized hemp farming. A bill is currently pending in the state legislature that would legalize hemp and CBD. But it’s still a muddle. In January, the FDA stated that CBD products are illegal because cannabis, which contains CBD, is still illegal on the federal level. However, there are ten states where cannabis, including both marijuana and hemp, are completely legal for recreational and medicinal use. Texas district attorneys are divided on their approach toward prosecution. Some say they’ll decline to prosecute; others insist that, because marijuana is still illegal, arrests will continue.
Wazwaz says she will continue to fight. “I’ve had a lot of great support from our local community and the news media from all over the country helping to get the word out.”