Pubdate: Fri, 30 Dec 2016
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Andrew Seal
Page: A3


A cannabis derived-vape additive hitting some specialty store shelves in
Edmonton has police warning buyers to beware.

"There's still an onus on the user to be aware of what they're ingesting.
Just because you purchased it from a store doesn't mean it's blindly OK to
use it. A certain degree of research has to be involved," said Mike
Tucker, communications manager with Alberta Law Enforcement Response

"You aren't exempt from the law just because you purchased it from a store."

Vaping products containing cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, have been
popping up at retailers around Edmonton. Despite CBD not having any
psychoactive effects, meaning it does not get users "high," it is still
listed alongside the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a
Schedule II narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances and Drugs
Act, restricting access to everyone without a prescription.

Vaping is an alternative to smoking where users inhale vapour from plant
material, such as cannabis or tobacco, and is considered by some to be a
healthier alternative to smoking because no combustion is involved.

CBDfx, a vape additive containing CBD concentrate, is legally manufactured
by a California company, even though it remains illegal under United
States federal law. To circumvent strict U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
regulations, the company has to import all the hemp it uses from Europe.
They are now shipping the product to 55 countries, including Canada.

"Just because it's now legal in certain states and it's become more
mainstream doesn't change anything about how it is regulated in Canada,"
said Tucker, stressing, however, that rapidly changing legislation and
outstanding court challenges have made the laws unclear.

"The marijuana industry in Canada is rapidly evolving and there is
generally some confusion about what is permissible," said Tucker. "There's
a lot of uncertainty in these areas."

CBDfx, is one of the products being sold at Digital Imports Inc. in west
Edmonton. Employee Ben Joy Dola is operating with the understanding CBDfx
is legal because it does not contain THC and comes from hemp plants.

"It's not really regulated, but it actually helps people," he said.

While industrial hemp is legal in Canada, the Edmonton Police Service says
CBD, without a prescription, is illegal in any form, regardless of whether
it was extracted from hemp plants or marijuana plants.

Another local specialty store, Darth Vaper on 97 Street, recently pulled
the product from its shelves.

CBDfx and many other CBD products such as hemp oils and chewing gum are
available online.

CBD is known for its medicinal applications, being commonly used to treat
epilepsy, anxiety and pain, among other things. Strains of marijuana grown
for medicinal use are commonly bred to contain a higher CBD to THC ratio.
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