Woman Arrested for Bringing CBD to Disney World

A great-grandmother was arrested at a Walt Disney World Resort checkpoint in Orlando, Florida after security officers found a bottle of CBD tincture during a security check.

Hester Jordan Burkhalter, 69, was arrested on April 15 after security officers at Disney World located “illegal narcotics believed to be THC oil” in her purse. Burkhalter said she was prescribed the CBD oil to help deal with the pain caused by her arthritis. She added that she carries the doctor’s note in her purse. The CBD oil tested positive for THC despite the fact the bottle is labeled as containing zero THC.

“Burkhalter was advised the contents of the glass bottle will be tested for THC,” arresting officer Vincent Lebron wrote in the arrest affidavit. “I tested the substance . . . using a marijuana presumptive drug test kit; the kit turned red, indicating a presumptive positive result for the presence of THC.”

In Florida, possession of CBD oil without an in-state doctor’s note is considered a felony, despite the fact it is sold in stores across the state. Possession of non-medical cannabis, however, is classified as a misdemeanor. Near the end of 2018, the U.S. Senate signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, which removed hemp and hemp-derived CBD from the list of Schedule I drugs. Despite the new bill, Burkhalter and other CBD consumers continue to face charges for possession of CBD.

“A little drop of oil, with the CBD, is a felony. Meanwhile, you can have up to 19.9 grams of leaf-marijuana, and it’s a first-degree misdemeanor,” said Jennifer Synnamon, a Florida attorney, said.

Burkhalter was ultimately charged with possession of hashish, which is a felony, and was held at the Orange County Jail. She spent 12 hours in jail before she was released on $2,000 bail. Since the incident, all charges have been dropped.

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