Bottled CBD-water company opens distribution office on South Shore | SierraSun.com

Bottled CBD-water company opens distribution office on South Shore

Claire Cudahy
ccudahy@tahoedailytribune.com

Walk into health food stores or pet shops around the country and it's not uncommon to find a selection of CBD products on the shelves. The presence of non-psychoactive, hemp-derived cannabinoid oils, pills, lotions, dog treats, and more is growing since the Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law. Also known as the Farm Bill, the act allowed some universities and state departments of agriculture to begin cultivating and researching industrial hemp in the United States.

The Farm Bill paved the way for companies like Quantum CBD H2O, which just opened up its West Coast distribution office in South Lake Tahoe, to start producing its CBD bottled water.

"We launched in July in the Midwest and September out here in the West," said Jason Gregory, president of Quantum CBD H2O, the company his brother Erik started back in Pennsylvania. In South Lake Tahoe, Quantum's water is for sale at Grass Roots Natural Foods.

Though research is limited, CBD has shown promising results in treating epilepsy, anxiety, inflammation, pain, insomnia, and other ailments.

Quantum sources CBD-rich hemp from an organic farm in Colorado. Both marijuana and hemp come from the plant species Cannabis Sativa. However, marijuana contains high levels of THC — which produces the mind-altering high — while hemp contains very little. At the facility in Colorado, the small amount of THC is removed from the hemp using a chemical-free extraction process.

"We remove 100-percent of the THC, then we send it to [our lab in] Oklahoma where they break it down further into a format that they can crack into the water," Gregory explained.

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The product is bottled in California using water from the southern part of the state. Each bottle contains 10 mg of CBD in 16.9 fl. oz. of water and sells for $5.99.

Gregory said he has customers who drink the water for a range of reasons, from arthritis and insomnia to workout recovery and pain management.

"It doesn't make you dizzy. It doesn't make you high. You will not test positive — we have professional athletes with multi-million-dollar contracts drinking the water who take drug tests regularly," Gregory said.

Quantum is a sponsor of Legacy Fighting Alliance and up-and-coming Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Sheymon da Silva Moraes, who is slated to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in November.

"They are discovering different applications for all of the various elements of the plant literally every day. It's constantly evolving," Gregory said.

"We are doing the opposite of everyone in California; we're not trying to make the most potent high-THC strains that get you really messed up. We have created a product to sell around the country as a nutritional supplement."

LEGAL CONFUSION

Quantum, like other CBD product companies, says its THC-free product is legal in all 50 states, even those that don't allow medical or recreational cannabis. The hemp products, said Gregory, do not require a medical license or need to be sold in a dispensary.

But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has stated several times that CBD and other cannabis-direct extracts — whether from industrial hemp or marijuana — are federally illegal Schedule 1 substances.

It's a position that has received pushback from those in the hemp industry, who assert the agency is ignoring the Farm Bill and point out that the Controlled Substances Act does not prohibit "hemp" or "CBD."

"The DEA does not make laws, and the agency's position is merely an opinion, one that, in this case, is actually illegal to enforce," Joey Stanley, CEO of CW Hemp, wrote in an editorial for The Cannabist, an affiliate of The Denver Post.

Stanley pointed to the Appropriations Act of 2017, which says that federal funds cannot be used to "prohibit the transportation, processing, sale or use of industrial hemp" grown in accordance with the Farm Bill.

On Thursday, Sept. 28, Denver-based CW Hemp announced that its Charlotte's Web Hemp supplements and oil were now available to purchase online-only from Target. The statement described the move as hemp-derived products "going mainstream."

Later that afternoon, Target removed the products, stating, "We started carrying Charlotte's Web hemp extract items last week on Target.com. After further review, we have decided to remove it from our assortment."

It was a confusing move in an even more confusing national conversation on what exactly is legal — both federally and at the state level — when it comes to the multi-purpose cannabis plant.

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