Business is booming for Lisa Jensen since she started selling treats, oils, and ointments containing cannabidiol - or CBD oil - to provide some relief for Oklahoma's sick and aging pets. She owns Mann's Best Friend in Oklahoma City and sells the products for between $19.99 and $80.
"It just went wild," Jensen said. "People are just really wanting to try this. Really wanting to see the benefits."
Just a little more than two years ago, lawmakers quietly passed a measure allowing Oklahoma residents to buy hemp products as long as they don't contain traces of tetrahydrocannabinol - or THC - the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. This decision does, however, leave local businesses worried that they will unwittingly sell products containing THC, which could send them to jail. Jensen at Mann's Best Friend is willing to take that risk, though, and cater to a wide new clientele who've been craving hemp derived CBD oil for quite a while now.
A bonus for business owners is that CBD is not widely regulated in Oklahoma. If questioned about purity and/or THC content, participating businesses simply need to provide certified lab results that the cannabidiol products they're selling are compliant with state law. Lawmakers mentioned that they're not being heavy-handed on marijuana prosecutions anyway unless they're "egregiously thumbing their noses" at the law.
For example, in 2016, the Norman Oklahoma police department seized about $7,000 worth of product from a vapor shop. A city police spokeswoman said a drug dog with the U.S. Postal Service got a hit on a package containing cannabidiol lotions that were bound for the shop. Officers seized the package and sent the contents to the Bureau of Narcotics' laboratory for testing. Authorities said the products did ultimately test positive for a small amount of THC, but they finally decided not to charge the owner, chalking it up to a misunderstanding about the new law. Police said they did not return the Shannon's products, nor did the owner ask.