Step into Lance Schroeder's CBD American Shaman store at 27th Street and Cornhusker Highway in Lincoln and you'll find a clean, uncluttered space to buy the latest product surging in popularity — even in states such as Nebraska that have tried to keep a lid on it in recent years.
Schroeder is selling cannabidiol (CBD) oil that comes from the hemp plant, a cousin to the marijuana plant but with higher amounts of CBD and much-lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
A hemp plant only has 0.03 percent THC, the main intoxicating chemical compound found in marijuana plants. The American Shaman company makes products with 0.03 percent THC, but products in Schroeder's store contain no THC, he said.
Schroeder has the oil "in every way you can sell it, I guess," he said. That includes candy, cookies, gummies, oil, tincture, ointment, capsules, topical creams, serums and lotions, and cat and dog treats.
It's sold as a health aid, Schroeder said. The federal Food and Drug Administration won't allow medical claims, he said, but people with pain or symptoms can get a free sample and see if it helps.
The oil is broken down into a water-soluble form through patent-pending nanotechnology, he said.
CBD American Shaman opened at 2662 Cornhusker Highway on Oct. 13. Its grand opening is Saturday. The word hasn't gotten out much yet, but business is picking up daily, mostly by word of mouth, Schroeder said.
Schroeder has a store in Garden City, Kansas, and is about to open another in Hays, Kansas.
Other health food stores and markets in Lincoln have carried other brands of CBD oil for a while, including Red Clover Market at 55th Street and Old Cheney Road and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market at 52nd and O streets.
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson issued a memorandum to law enforcement in September 2017 that said cannabidiol or any product containing cannabidiol, obtained by any means other than the authorized University of Nebraska Medical Center study, remains illegal to possess, manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense.
Such conduct is subject to prosecution for illegally possessing or trafficking a Schedule I controlled substance.
American Shaman attorney Sean Pickett said he reached out to the attorney general several months ago and Peterson did not respond, and law enforcement has not gone after any of the American Shaman stores.
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In Pickett's view, CBD is a legal product and sold in every state.
On June 1, Kansas passed a clear CBD law that should be an example, he said.
The law excluded CBD with no THC from the state's definition of marijuana, effectively making it an unrestricted substance, according to the Kansas City Star. Anyone can possess, use or sell CBD in that state, as long as it contains no THC.
"American Shaman products are full-spectrum cannabidiol and cannabinoid products that are targeted towards holistic use and those elements that people need outside of medical hemp, which is typically at higher levels, and for seizure medications. We don't market it for that," he said.
A Washington County Court in Nebraska this year dismissed charges against at least two people charged with selling cannabidiol oil products from DJ's Vapes in Herman. They had been charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to dispense at the vape shop.
The charges were dismissed Monday. The court document said the state failed to show that the substances tested had the structure and pharmacology of THC.
National reports Thursday said Epidiolex, the first cannabis-based medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is now available by prescription in all 50 states to treat two types of epileptic syndromes.
The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, when it passes, is expected to make hemp crops legal for Americans to grow for the first time in nearly 50 years.
For Schroeder, the oil has taken away the pain and swelling he had in his knee and the limited movement in his shoulders, and he doesn't have to take 20 ibuprofen every day, he said.
The body has cannabinoid receptors in cells throughout the body and is said to be able to react with CBD oil to affect and regulate the immune system, for example, and other body systems, he said.
A 30-day supply of the oil costs $59.99, he said.