Why Target Sold CBD for Only a Few Hours
Target, everyone's favorite everything store went a little edgy last week by selling CBD oil online, which contains a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. But as of today, the items have been removed from the company's online store and it's not totally clear why the decision was made.
"We started carrying Charlotte’s Web hemp extract items last week on Target.com," the store said in a statement. "After further review, we have decided to remove it from our assortment."
Although it's not clear why Target decided to sell the oil originally or why the company removed it from its online store, it's possible that the company could have been a little confused.
Recent years have seen an explosion in CBD products (also referred to as "cannabidiol") marketed for all kinds of wellness issues, including insomnia, anxiety, and even period cramps. A large part of the the products' popularity is that, unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn't get you high. Plus there's some real research behind it as a treatment for severe cases of childhood epilepsy.
But the confusion comes from the fact that many of these products are marketed as being "legal in all 50 states" or something similar. However, Justin Strekal, political director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said that CBD is federally illegal and has a schedule 1 status. That means the DEA believes that CBD offers no medical benefits and has the potential to be highly addictive. "No matter what theories you read on the internet [that CBD's been] legalized nationwide, it is flat out not true," he says.
At the state level, however, Strekal explains that CBD may be legal in states that have medical or recreational cannabis laws on the books, including the 16 states that have legalized CBD only. But, just as with any other product containing a compound found in cannabis, CBD is still very much illegal at the federal level—even if it's being extracted from hemp.
So, in selling the CBD oil online, Target may have committed a big no-no by allowing people in states without that legislation to buy it, a.k.a. breaking the law. "There is a tremendous potential economy once we legalize marijuana nationwide," Strekal says, "and it looks like Target jumped the gun a little."