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Department of Revenue in Missouri takes a tough stance on unregulated CBD market

Department of Revenue in Missouri takes a tough stance on unregulated CBD market.

The tax officers of the Missouri revenue department have come ahead to raise relevant questions on the legality in selling CBD products in such an unregulated market. They have questioned the Attorney general in a post-dispatch regarding its stance on the entire issue. The post sent by the Revenue department has been received by St Louis yet opinions have been kept reserved. 

In March this year, the Missouri Revenue department’s Director Joel Walters had sent a memo to the Attorney General Eric Schmitt seeking opinion on whether the department can issue sales tax licenses to those businesses which are selling CBD, an extract of hemp. Walter, who sent the memo left later that month but opined that selling such products might not be within the permeable limits of the law. He also cited the 2014 law which permitted the Missouri Department of Agriculture to sign contracts with two businesses which would cultivate hemp to extract oil. 

The law categorically mentioned that the oil could be sold only to those individuals who required it for the treatment of epilepsy. Walters in the memo wrote that retail sale of such products containing CBD or CBD oil itself is illegal and any business starting to deal with it will do as facing risks. 

He is incessantly urging the attorney general for his opinion because the entire department is waiting for his opinion to take further steps. The official spokesperson from the Attorney General’s office Chris Nuelle stated that they are not required to spill the beans because they are protected under the sunshine laws of the state. The opinion has come about, but they have decided not to release it in public. Even the Revenue department has kept it behind the curtains, being only too careful to make it public. 

The entire scheme is boiling down to ‘Don’t-ask, Don’t-tell’ policy. This implies that the revenue department will sell licenses to the businesses but they do not openly declare that they are dealing or selling it. This they have to do in the license claim application form. On one hand, they have also rejected licenses for several businesses which have indicated clearly on the form that they will be dealing in CBD. On the other hand, they have approved licenses of those who have not mentioned their CBD business in the application form. The state has seen retail stores dealing with CBD ballooning with as many as 20 new stores already opened in St. Louis. 

CBD or cannabidiol is derived from the hemp plant. The plant belongs to the Cannabis Sativa family which also produces Marijuana. Despite being from the same plant family, CBD has less than 0.3% THC levels whereas in the case of marijuana it is way higher. CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a preferred compound in the medical and health care industry. Its intake makes you feel better if not high. Marijuana addicts face severe withdrawal symptoms because of the presence of THC that takes the taker to a new high. 

In the medical world, CBD has quite created a stir. Recently medical Cannabis has received a nod from the UK government for epilepsy in children. Till then the parents had to source these products from other countries which were costing them a lot. But with the immense relief in conditions of epilepsy like seizures has induced the government to take these steps, especially for the children suffering from it. Apart from epilepsy, CBD has proven its effectiveness in treating cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, joint pains, injury recuperation especially after accidents and much more. The new laws are a bit confusing. The government has legalised hemp plant if it has less than 0.3% THC but if CBD is included in it or not, is the relevant question. Now with newer laws passed, the University of Missouri researchers have the legal permission to grow hemp plant. With the passage of this law, hemp plant cultivation in the state will be an all-time high.

With several people accepting CBD as the new dawn in their life, CBD will get a new lease of life. Businesses who are dealing with such products have to be careful about the THC products. One mistake they make might cost the other innocent businesses to face shut down. Laws have to be clearly defined and the government has to take relevant steps. 

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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