Business owners in one New Hampshire city are speaking out, frustrated that after years of selling CBD products, their city leaders are now cracking down –telling them it’s illegal.
You can still find CBD oil in Rochester, but it’s the edible products that city leaders say are illegal.
So now, the owner of Puglife Vape and Smoke in downtown has a whole box of products she can’t sell.
“It’s been a nightmare,” Heather Sondrini said. “Let’s just say that.”
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Sondrini opened Puglife two and a half years ago. But now, the rules are changing, or rather, the enforcement is.
“It’s a weird, fine line, because they’ll let me do oil and pet oil, but they won’t let me do edibles,” Sondrini said.
Rochester’s Zoning Director James Grant says under the Food and Drug Administration, the hemp extract called Cannibidoil, or CBD, is not an approved food additive. Grant says that means it’s technically illegal to sell foods infused with CBD. Grant admits it’s a confusing issue, but a couple months ago, when city leaders confirmed with the state that CBD food items are illegal - they started enforcement.
“It’s what we do, it’s our job to do that, we have to ensure the safety of our residents here in Rochester,” Grant said.
Sondrini says edibles were a big part of her business and a huge draw for customers, who she says are now shopping where there’s no enforcement.
“I’ve already lost 10 to 15 percent of my business, easily,” Sondrini said. “People just go to the next town over.”
Her neighbor, Fresh Vibes Café is also losing revenue.
Owner Kris Enis has stopped selling her popular CBD coffee and nixed her first-in-the-state CBD infused lunch menu.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Sondrini said. “It’s little things like this that make me want to move out of this town unfortunately.”
Enis was only available to talk over the phone. She tells us she is now working with lawmakers to get CBD edibles legalized across the state.