FONTANA — The sale of trendy products containing a chemical found in marijuana plants might be banned from store shelves in Fontana.
Although they offer no intoxicating effects and they could be perfectly legal, Fontana’s police chief says the sale of CBD products does not fit with the village’s “clean image.”
Products containing CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol, have grown in popularity lately because of their purported medical benefits, including pain relief and anxiety relief.
In Fontana, the Shell gas station and convenience store at 286 Valley View Drive, sells CBD oils, capsules, creams, gummy candies and even lollipops.
Police Chief Jeff Cates is urging village board members to either prohibit the sale of such products or take steps to regulate them through licensing.
“The village of Fontana has always maintained a clean image in regards to what is bought and sold within the village,” Cates said. “I believe that the sale of CBD products takes away from that image.”
Probh Dindh, owner of the Shell station, said he has tapped into a demand for CBD products since introducing them about six months ago.
A small bottle of oil is $19.99, a bag of 12 gummy candies is 19.99, and one lollipop is $4.99.
Dindh said he checked with the police department to make sure the products were legal before placing them on his store shelves.
If the village votes to impose a ban, Dindh said he will stop carrying them.
“I follow whatever Fontana tells me to do,” he said. “I don’t want to be in an estranged position with the village.”
The village protection committee has recommended a ban, which was scheduled to be considered July 1 by the full village board.
Stores in Lake Geneva and elsewhere also carry CBD products, which have grown in popularity amid changing public attitudes toward legalized marijuana and related products.
CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical extracted from hemp plants. What makes it controversial is that the same chemical is found in marijuana plants.
Although Wisconsin law once prohibited the sale of CBD without a doctor’s prescription, the state’s attorney general last year issued an opinion that law enforcement should not take action against hemp products, including CBD.
“As of right now, in the state of Wisconsin, there is conflicting law regarding whether any product containing CDB oil can be legally sold or possessed without a prescription,” Walworth County assistant district attorney Tim Suha said.
Other touted medical benefits of CBD oils include anti-inflammatory and seizure-suppressant forms of therapy.
However, members of the Fontana Village Board said they support imposing some kind of controls on CBD products.
“I think that at the very minimum we need to regulate what’s there,” Village President Pat Kenny said.
“We just have to be asking the right questions,” he said. “And we’ll have to see where it goes.”
Village trustee Arvid “Pete” Petersen said he wants CBD products kept out of the sight of minors.
“When an 8-year-old on his way to school stops in the convenience store to buy a Mars bar, I don’t want a huge display of CBD in front of him,” Petersen said.
Peterson said he is aware of CBD products available in stores elsewhere in the region.
“There are plenty of other places where you can buy it,” he said.
Cates said he, too, is concerned about displaying CBD products in a way that makes them accessible to minors.
Dindh said he does not sell the products to anyone under age 18. Most customers are in their 40s or older, he said.
Cates said he wants CBD products out of Fontana.
“I am not arguing the medicinal benefits of these products,” he said. “I am simply under the belief that if these products are truly needed, they can be obtained elsewhere.”