SANFORD, Maine — Some businesses in Sanford are crying foul over a new ordinance that prohibits the sale of CBD products to customers under the age of 21.
CBD is derived from hemp, but unlike marijuana, it won't make you high. The compound is being added to just about everything -- gummies, tea, soft drinks, and even pet treats.
Patients say it helps with a number of health problems, including pain, stress and anxiety.
Under a new ordinance in the city, customers have to show ID to purchase any products containing CBD. The owner of a smoke shop, who doesn't want to be identified, says she rarely sells the products to anyone younger than 19.
CBD is currently classified as a supplement and is not regulated by the FDA. Since federal lawmakers legalized hemp last year, there has been an explosion of CBD products on the market.
Sanford Deputy Mayor Lucas Lanegan says like candy cigarettes, which were taken off the shelves, he worries that consumption of products with CBD among minors could lead to marijuana use.
In March, Gov. Mills signed an emergency bill allowing CBD in food products after state inspectors warned stores to pull them from the shelves earlier in January.
But Sanford officials say that law didn't go far enough in setting an age limit for CBD products. The city took action using home rule authority, which is allowed as long as the ordinance does not violate state and federal laws.
"This is not marijuana -- this is hemp. It is completely different," said Dawson Julia, caregiver and owner of East Coat CBD's in Unity.
Julia sells CBD products to patients who are battling addiction and other health problems. He says officials in Sanford need to educate themselves that hemp is not considered by experts as a gateway drug.
"If Sanford doesn't get challenged, then how many more towns will think it's okay to do this?" said Julia.
The FDA is holding it's first public hearing Friday in Maryland. Regulators will hear from dozens of experts and interested citizens. That testimony will help shape FDA policies that could govern everything from CBD quality and labeling standards to infused food and beverages.
It could take years for the rules to be approved.