European Union regulations permits CBD products with a THC content of 0.2% or lower to be grown and sold. There are some instances in which the EU common agricultural policy even subsidizes the growth of some products.
Ireland also permits hemp or CBD to be grown for food-product purposes under the conditions above. There are restrictions though and they arise from the Misuse of Drug Act 1977, which makes hemp and cannabis derivatives containing any THC, illegal.
According to a recent report by the Irish Times, there have been a number of raids on cafes and shops selling CBD. The report indicates that one official on the raid confiscated over 10,000 EU worth of plant products from Little Collins Dispensary. The dispensary’s owner JP O’Brien reported to the Irish Times that he ordered CBD boxes a week earlier and they never arrived and as a result, he believed the products had been seized.
Further, according to the report, there is also the concern of prosecution, which O’Brien and his wife stated that they are “extremely worried” about. It is possible that even though the confiscated product has been valued, the judge will attribute a higher value to it. A higher value could lead to a presumptive mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.
O’Brien’s store is not the only one that has been raised. The report also pointed out a raid upon Puff N Stuff. The store’s owner, Jim Weathers, commented upon the raid and stated that the sale of CBD did not become an issue until seven months ago. A search warrant was recently executed on his store and officials seized 2kg of product. This is even when the product had been tested to have 0.2% THC and was grown legally.
The confiscations may be due to a lack of clarity. Weathers stated in the article that the police officials
“[A]re oblivious to it. They don’t know the rules so they are classifying it all as cannabis. It is the same species of plant, but there is a tremendous difference, one has a psychoactive effect and the one doesn’t.”
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s webpage explains on its website, in part, “If the CBD oil is extracted using particular extraction methods, like using solvents or supercritical CO2 extraction, you cannot sell it in the EU (unlike CBD oil extracted simply by pressing e.g. cold pressing). It is important that you know how the CBD oil has been extracted.” Further, if there is any THC in the product, then it is subject to strict controls under the Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977 to 2016.