Scottsbluff, Neb. — Heather Kaufman Beguin sells CBD oils in her small Scottsbluff shop. Some customers swear by it. But Nebraska's attorney general calls, an illegal drug, just like marijuana. So police shut the shop down.
The confusion about CBD in Scottsbluff is just a reflection of a nation with a patchwork quilt of laws. What's illegal in some states is no big deal in others. Ten states allow it, 18 others allow it with a prescription, 19 states have no clear rule and three consider it illegal.
There have been raids from New York to Texas by authorities who consider CBD a marijuana-type drug. But CBD products come from hemp, a different plant.
What fuels the confusion is that sometimes CBD products can have trace amounts of THC, the same ingredient in marijuana that gets people high. Proponents say CBD products, now a $600 million industry, can ease everything from aches and pains to stress.
In the end, the county attorney in Scottsbluff decided not to prosecute. So police chief Kevin Spencer faces something he's never seen.
Business is good at Beguin's store.
"I want to help others," she said.
That's what keeps her going, at least for the moment.