Arrested in 2019 for selling CBD, Des Moines metro store owner is back in business after changes in Iowa law
For almost 16 months, Lacie Navin worked six jobs to pay the rent on three businesses she couldn’t open.
The Your CBD Store locations shut down in late 2019 after Navin, the owner, was arrested and charged with two counts of controlled substance violation and unlawful substance tax requirement.
Now with a hemp license and a passion for holistic healing, Navin was able to reopen her stores in Valley Junction, Urbandale and Ankeny on March 17.
She’s a big believer in the healing and restorative powers of CBD, short for cannabidiol. Several times, Navin said, she has had customers come into her store, try the hemp-derived products and cry with relief.
She said she invested in the Your CBD store franchises, part of a national chain with about 900 locations across the country and more than a dozen in Iowa, because she saw how the products helped her father, who had fibromyalgia.
She believes people should have the option to try holistic methods over prescription medication, and that’s why she fought to stay in business.
“I know I’m on the right side of history, I know that these products help people and I know they’re organic and they’re good,” she said. “That for me was the driving force to say I’m not letting go because what I’m doing is right.”
The problem for Navin was that hemp is a close relative of marijuana, and CBD can contain small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient. In 2019, Iowa remained among state that imposed strict limits on THC.
Ankeny police, working with the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, arrested her at her store on Dec. 5 of that year. But the following June, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law that cleared the way for some production and sale of hemp products. In early March of this year, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals created a process for businesses to apply for a hemp license.
Though her case is ongoing, Navin was able to get one and reopen her stores.
Navin said that under the rules, she can’t legally sell certain items, like Delta-8 THC — a low-potency form of THC popular with chemotherapy patients — pet hemp oil or vape accessories.
“We want to make sure everyone’s getting safe products and everyone’s complying with the rules that Iowa’s made in terms of CBD and what’s allowable with hemp,” she said.
Her store sells oil tinctures made with organic, U.S. Agricultural Department-certified cannabidiol, as well as CBG and CBN, compounds found in cannabis that contain properties that can ease anxiety, help with focus and assist with sleep, respectively. She also sells CBD bath bombs, gummies, lotions and topical treatments.
“Someone who has problems with matters of the mind like anxiety and depression and sleep, that’s a lot of melatonin, serotonin and dopamine imbalances,” she said. “CBD goes into the body and tries to create homeostasis and balance, that’s the purpose of it so that with the anti-inflammatory qualities of it is really helpful for people with these issues.”
Navin said her arrest and required closure of her business was frustrating, especially when other Your CBD Stores in the state were allowed to continue to operate.
“This is bigger than me,” she said. “I’m just the vessel that’s brave enough to say I’m going to stand up for what’s right here and this is the right thing to do.”
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Football coach jailed for 25 years in Dubai over CBD vape oil
Billy Hood from Notting Hill, west London, was arrested on 31 January, shortly after moving to the country.
The 24-year-old claims he was forced to sign a confession written in Arabic despite not speaking the language.
The Foreign Office said it was "giving consular support to a British man who has been imprisoned" in Dubai.
Mr Hood, who played semi-professional football for Kensington and Ealing Borough FC, told campaign group Detained in Dubai police had unexpectedly turned up and demanded to search his home and car.
He told the group he was taken to a "police station and kept in an isolation cell for 14 days without any hygiene products".
Mr Hood claimed the oil was left by a friend who had been visiting from England two weeks earlier.
But he claimed he was forced to sign a confession after being pressured by local law enforcement.
This month he was convicted by a court of drug trafficking with intent to supply.
Vaping cannabidiol (CBD) oil is legal in the UK and has become extremely popular – typically used to relieve pain, anxiety or stress.
The Foreign Office advise there is a "zero-tolerance for drugs-related offences" in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"Forced and coerced confessions are commonplace in Dubai," said Radha Stirling, chief executive of Detained in Dubai, who are representing the family.
Sentences for drug trafficking can include the death penalty and possession of even the smallest amount of illegal drugs can lead to a minimum four-year jail sentence.
In a statement to his lawyers Mr Hood said: "I have always had a zero-tolerance on any drugs or illegal substances.
"For me to be accused of promoting and selling drugs in a country that has the same beliefs and values as me is very upsetting as it affects my future."
Mr Hood's family are appealing to the UK and UAE government to intervene in the case.
Mr Hood's mother Breda said: "I have hidden myself away, crying and crying when I imagine what our sweet boy is going through.
"It is the worst stress I've ever been through and I feel helpless."