The Cannabis Catch-Up: Is Your CBD the Real Deal?


So many CBD choices... - LUKE EASTMAN

  • So many CBD choices…

Much has been written about cannabidiol. Is it a miracle cure for all ailments? Snake oil? Something in-between?
That’s all well and good. But there’s a more important question that should be asked first when evaluating a CBD product: Is there any CBD in it at all?
The folks over at NBC Boston decided to find out.
“We bought 10 products at random from stores around the Boston area, from oils and tinctures to CBD-infused lollipops and gummy bears,” reports Ally Donnelly. “We went to high-end boutiques and smoke shops; corner stores and gas stations.”
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill taste test. The station sent the stuff for testing at MCR Labs in Framingham, Mass., which returned some interesting results. Three products had the same amount of CBD as advertised, according to the lab. But one container of sour gummies, which claimed to contain 10 milligrams of CBD in each gummy, varied from 11 in one to 42 in another. That’s quite a range.
Here’s my personal favorite:

Gummy worms with the marking “Super Chill Products” cost us $10 a bag and advertised 100 milligrams in each worm, but the lab said they don’t have any CBD at all. We wanted a response from the company, but couldn’t find contact information on the package or online. The owner of the store where we bought them did not respond to multiple messages.

This isn’t an issue in Massachusetts alone. Seven Days reported in 2017 that Phytoscience Institute, a lab in Waterbury, did its own testing of CBD products from local and out-of-state companies. From that story:

Of the nine Vermont products tested, only one was accurately labeled. Five had less CBD than promised, and three offered no information at all. The results indicate that producers in Vermont’s relatively new CBD industry are still working out the kinks — and that testing is needed. 

Reminder, folks: Whether it’s a product with CBD in it, a protein shake or a newspaper, buy it from a source you trust!
Here are some other stories we followed this week:

May 18: There were more than double the number of vendors at this year’s Vermont Cannabis & Hemp convention compared to last year. And some of those attending weren’t thrilled by the state’s stalled bill to tax and regulate cannabis. [Emily Corwin, Vermont Public Radio]

May 20: New York City Councilor Jumaane Williams writes in an op-ed that he’s never smoked weed, despite spending much of his life “fitting the stereotype: a young black Caribbean man from Brooklyn with locs on his head and hip-hop in his ears.” Instead, he sold pot while in high school and now wants to decriminalize it, among other social justice measures surrounding cannabis. [Jumaane Williams, New York Daily News]

May 22: With weed legalization comes a “where-to-smoke?” dilemma for some. That includes hotel guests. Most states have banned smoking in public and even cannabis-smoking lounges. Is that beginning to change? [Bruce Kennedy, Leafly]

May 23: Maine has released its proposed recreational cannabis rules. About 100 people turned out to a Thursday meeting in Portland to weigh in on everything from prices to a proposal that a weed business applicant must have lived in Maine for at least four years. [Penelope Overton, Portland Press Herald]

May 23: Massachusetts regulators have OK’d the first sale of a cannabis company to another. The approval was delayed because of concerns that big weed companies are trying to find ownership loopholes to avoid state-imposed caps on certain licenses. [Shira Schoenberg, MassLive]

May 22: Check out some pics from last weekend’s Vermont Cannabis & Hemp Convention. [Heady Vermont]

May 23: A new study found that couples who use weed experience a spike in “intimacy events” during a two-hour window after consuming cannabis. And no, it’s not all sex. [Hannah Sparks, New York Post]

May 23: Retired NFL player Chris Long says he smoked his “fair share” of weed during his 11-year playing career, and he thinks the league’s testing policy is “arbitrary” and “kind of silly.” [Matt Bonesteel, the Washington Post]

A 69-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Was Arrested at Disney World for Carrying CBD Oil

he uses it for her arthritis.

BILLY BINION | 5.21.2019 12:21 PM



(Pressfoto |

Disney World—where kiddie coasters, cartoon royalty, and overpriced food options abound—is colloquially known as “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

Hester Burkhalter would likely disagree. The 69-year-old great-grandmother was arrested outside of Magic Kingdom and spent 12 hours in jail last month after security officials found CBD—short for cannabidiol—oil in her purse. The compound is derived from cannabis but does not contain the psychoactive component, THC, found in marijuana.

In other words, it can’t get you high. But it supposedly can alleviate a plethora of medical conditions, including joint pain and anxiety.

“I have really bad arthritis in my legs, in my arms and in my shoulder,” Burkhalter tellsOrlando’s local Fox affiliate. “I use [CBD oil] for the pain because it helps.” She reportedly had a doctor’s note in her purse when security officials flagged her, but law enforcement detained her regardless.

While the charges have been dropped, Burkhalter’s attorney, Ben Crump, says he plans to sue Disney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on her behalf, alleging “illegal detention, false arrest and a violation of her civil rights,” WESH 2 reports.

Her misfortune sheds light on the murky legal territory surrounding CBD use, as regulations often conflict and as people increasingly flout local restrictions on the harmless substance. The Farm Bill—signed by President Trump in 2018—legalized hemp and CBD at the federal level. In Florida, it remains illegal without a prescription, although CBD-infused cocktails and shops selling the compound continue to pop up across the Sunshine State.

“Today in Orlando, we were able to go into the store and buy CBD,” said Crump—who also represented Trayvon Martin’s family—at a press conference last week. “It’s all over Orlando. It’s all over Florida.”

CBD use remains a point of contention even in places that have legalized marijuana. In California—where cannabis use is permitted both medically and recreationally—public health officials seized $140,000 worth of CBD-infused drinks from Vybes beverages.

That same cognitive dissonance is alive and well in Florida. “A little drop of oil, with the CBD, is a felony,” Jennifer Synnamon, a Florida attorney, told the local Fox affiliate. “Meanwhile, you can have up to 19.9 grams of leaf-marijuana, and it’s a first-degree misdemeanor.”

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Kid Rock is getting his own giant middle finger sculpture from Vermont "It’s quite a thrill for me, honestly."

“It’s quite a thrill for me, honestly.”

Ted Pelkey’s middle finger sculpture being installed at his home in Westford, Vermont. –Courtesy of Ted Pelkey


Nik DeCosta-Klipa

1:36 PM

Ted Pelkey’s giant middle finger sculpture apparently has fans beyond Vermont’s Route 128.  And the Westford resident’s work of “art” will soon have a twin in Nashville.

Pelkey says he’s driving down to Tennessee with his wife later this month to hand-deliver a second version of his 700-pound wooden sculpture to singer Kid Rock. As WCAX first reported last week, the country music star called the 54-year-old Vermont native in December to express his admiration — and to ask if he could get his own middle finger sculpture.

“It’s quite a thrill for me, honestly,” Pelkey told over the phone Wednesday. “He just really wants one.”

Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, has made the crude gesture something of his personal signature through his personal appearances, song lyrics, merchandise, and album art. Pelkey said he first got a voicemail from Rock around Christmas, in which the 48-year-old singer said he “liked my style.” Despite recent controversies, Pelkey noted that Rock came off as a real “down-to-earth guy” during their phone calls.

“I would do it for him if it wasn’t Kid Rock,” he added.

Pelkey had the original sculpture commissioned in November to protest Westford town officials, who he felt were treating him unfairly in a dispute over his efforts to build a garage on his property. He paid a local artist for the massive middle finger sculpture, which he mounted on a 16-foot platform in his yard and lit with floodlights. Considered a work of “public art” under Vermont law, the giant bird was allowed to stay up, catching the attention of both Route 128 drivers and nationalnews outlets.

“It was critical to me to make sure that my neighbors and the people who live in this town understood that I didn’t put that up there for them,” Pelkey told at the time. “It is aimed directly at the people who sit in our town office.”

Rock is paying $4,000 — the same amount that Pelkey paid — for the second sculpture. Pelkey says he recently picked up Rock’s sculpture from the same artist who commissioned the original and is looking forward to hauling it down to the singer’s Nashville home. According to the Tennessean, Rock owns 170 acres of property in the city’s Whites Creek neighborhood.

The second sculpture won’t be the first crass display Rock has put up in Nashville, even if it will be somewhat hidden in the city’s outskirts. Earlier this year, Nashville’s Metro Council reluctantly approved a 20-foot sign outside the rock star’s new Broadway restaurant, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse, that featured a giant guitar that was intentionally made to look like a woman’s butt.

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