GRL Law Secures Dismissal of Felony CBD Charges in Polk County

The Polk County Attorney’s Office and GRL Law announce the resolution of criminal charges against Lacie Navin arising from the retail sale of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) in December 2019.

At the time of her arrest, Iowa’s Hemp Act, S.F. 599, which would provide for the production and retail sale of hemp products in Iowa, had not been fully implemented. Until the approval of the State Hemp Plan by the United States Department of Agriculture, it was unlawful to distribute CBD products under Iowa Code chapter 124.

In late November 2019, Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement (MINE) Task Force officers informed Ms. Navin that the retail sale of products containing CBD was illegal in Iowa. However, pursuant to the advice of her then attorneys, Ms. Navin continued to operate her retail store located in Ankeny, Iowa, which resulted in the filing of criminal charges.

It was not until April 8, 2020, that the Iowa Hemp Act would go into full effect, and not until March 2021 when retailers could register with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (Department) to sell CBD and other hemp products through the additional legislative enactment of H.F. 2581.

Ms. Navin is now registered with the Department as a fully compliant consumable hemp retailer under Iowa Code chapter 204.  In light of the full implementation of Iowa’s Hemp Act, and Ms. Navin’s current compliance with Iowa law, the Polk County Attorney’s Office believes that it is in the interest of justice that, at this time, these matters be dismissed without prejudice, reserving the ability to refile the charges at a later time. The Polk County Attorney’s Office advises individuals seeking to participate in the retail sale of consumable hemp products in Iowa to ensure compliance with the registration requirements of Iowa Code chapter 204 and the Department.

“The resolution of these charges allows Ms. Navin to best exemplify how to lawfully participate in the state’s emerging consumable hemp product market,” said GRL Law’s Colin Murphy, who now represents Lacie Navin. “We commend the forward-looking approach by the Polk County Attorney’s Office in resolving this matter. GRL Law highly recommends businesses seek advice from attorneys who are familiar with Iowa’s hemp laws and regulations. It’s very important to also consult with the Department, local law enforcement, and government officials to ensure full compliance with the law before offering any hemp-derived product for sale.”