Arrest of CBD-Carrying Great-Grandma Sparks Discussion

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Colorado Springs, CO—Hester Jordan Burkhalter, a 69-year-old great-grandmother, was arrested at a Disney World checkpoint after an Orange County Deputy found CBD oil in her purse and spent 12 hours behind bars before being released on a $2,000 bond, according to a report in the New York Post.

The charge was later dropped, though the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy who made the arrest was following the law. Colorado-based Folium Biosciences, a vertically integrated producer, manufacturer, and global distributor of hemp-derived phytocannabinoids, weighed in on the matter in a press release, noting that it brings up an important discussion. While officials have said some forms of CBD are legal in Florida, the release states, the key issue is that some CBD manufacturers claim “zero” THC products, but police and employers’ testing methodologies may show otherwise.

“It is long overdue that law enforcement understands the molecules contained in Industrial Hemp products, and learns how to properly test for the omission of THC,” said Folium Biosciences General Counsel Craig A. Brand, Esq. “Off-the-shelf THC kits merely pick up the residual of any cannabinoid molecule regardless of whether the actual presence of THC exists; thus causing unnecessary and wrongful arrests.”

CEO Kashif Shan said in the release: “Folium Biosciences has developed a reliable CBD/Hemp oil with certified 0.0% THC content through our proprietary extraction and purification process.” Brand added the company backs each order with a Certificate of Analysis after rigorous  testing. “I urge all consumers to do their research and make sure they only purchase CBD products from a trusted source that offers full transparency.
(Look for in-depth coverage on testing, transparency, COAs and the questions natural products retailers need to be asking before selling CBD products in the June issue of WholeFoods Magazine.)

On another legal front, Fox 35 Orlando reported that Burkhalter is being represented by attorneys Ben Crump and Michele Rayner, who released a statement that said: “This was a dream vacation for Ms. Burkhalter and her family to what is supposed to be the happiest place on earth—Walt Disney World. While Ms. Burkhalter’s charges have since been dropped, her family’s dream vacation will always be remembered as a nightmare complete with eight hours detained in jail after this false arrest. We expect better from Walt Disney World and demand a public apology while we pursue all avenues for justice for her.”

 

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