ANKENY, Iowa -- The Polk County Sheriff's Office says an Ankeny woman was arrested Wednesday for allegedly selling illegal CBD products.
Thirty-three-year-old Lacie Navin was charged with two counts of a controlled substance violation and one count of failure to affix a tax stamp.
Navin is the owner of Your CBD Store that has locations in Ankeny, Urbandale and West Des Moines.
In addition to Navin's arrest, the store in Ankeny was shut down.
Lt. Heath Osberg says these stores have been open for months. But a Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force investigation started recently after a complaint was made about multiple businesses, including Navin's, that were selling illegal products.
“I don't have an answer for you when it comes to why this business, why now. I can tell you -- and it’s important to tell you -- this wasn’t the only business. There were several others in the area, and like I said, some of the information was bad and they were not selling it. Some were, and they ceased their operations there and removed the merchandise,” Osberg said.
According to Iowa state law, it is illegal for someone to sell or purchase cannabidiol products, unless they are licensed.
Leaders at MedPharm Iowa, one of Iowa's licensed dispensaries, say illegal stores are causing a lot of confusion for people.
“It can undercut a lot of what we are doing here. We are trying to explain to people why it’s important to be a part of this program, why it’s worth going to your doctor, having the conversation, paying for your card, paying for these products, when they can walk into a different shop, sometimes right across the street or just down the road and get what they think is almost identical,” MedPharm Iowa General Manager Lucas Nelson said.
Nelson said these illegal products can have serious negative effects.
“Because it’s not required to be tested like the medical cannabis program products are, some people are really putting themselves at some risk or may simply be buying nothing,” Nelson said.
He said incidents like this hurt their business and the patients who need CBD the most.
“The more issues when someone sees, ‘oh a CBD store got shut down’ or someone was arrested for selling, something like that or possessing it, I think it undermines the entire program and it makes people think ‘all of this is bad. This is causing problems.’ When in our medical cannabis program that’s legal in this state, it hasn’t had any of those sorts of issues,” Nelson said.
Navin’s lawyer, Katelynn McCollough, made this statement following Navin’s arrest and charges:
“It is truly unfortunate that the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force has decided that the best use of its time is to target small business owners. The products sold at Your CBD Store in Ankeny are sold in stores across the State of Iowa. Iowans have made it clear they support the products being sold at Ms. Navin’s store and she intends to fight the charges brought against her.”
The investigation is ongoing.