Katrina Evans is worried she may be arrested.
Evans, the owner of KATZ, a full-service wedding and event store in Pocatello, is still under investigation by the Pocatello Police Department for selling hemp CBD oil at her business.
After being told by Pocatello police that she could not sell the oil back in October, Evans has resumed selling it again, with a sign in front of her store declaring “Hemp Oil Sold Here.”
This time, however, she said she is selling it to make a point, more than a profit.
“I would really like the city to open up a dialogue with this,” she said.
People who use the oil believe it has medicinal benefits, such as relieving pain.
According to Evans, after the police told her she could not sell the oil, friends began pointing her to other businesses in the Pocatello area that sold hemp oil and other hemp products, some of which included large corporations, such as WinCo Foods and Walmart.
In addition to the hemp oil, which she gets from Zilis, LLC, a Texas-based company, Evans also has several products on display that she purchased at both WinCo and Walmart. Receipts of her purchases are tacked to a board next to the display.
From WinCo, Evans said she purchased hemp chocolate milk and hemp seeds. From Walmart, she said she purchased hemp oil, which can be found in the cooking aisle next to the other oils like vegetable and olive.
“If they can sell, why can’t we?” Evans said. “Why am I being singled out?”
Pocatello police said they consider Evans under investigation, and their legal department has not yet made a decision on what they will do in regards to Evans’ store.
Additionally, they said they have received reports of other businesses selling hemp oil. When they do receive such a report, they said they visit the business and test the product themselves to determine whether or not it contains any trace of THC.
They have not, however, visited either Walmart or WinCo.
Under federal law, hemp products are legal if they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
However, under Idaho law, if a product contains any amount of THC, it is presumed to be “marijuana” and is prohibited.
Evans said she has estimated that she has lost about $30,000 in potential sales since she was told to stop selling the hemp CBD oil. When she first began selling it, she said she made $650 in less than seven hours.
Now that she has decided to start selling the products again, she said she is unsure of her future.
“I almost expect to be arrested today, and if that happens, that happens,” she said. “Then it would go to court, and it would set a precedent in court.”
She added that though she is primarily hoping to highlight what she believes to be unfair treatment of herself and her store, if all stores are forced to stop selling hemp oil, she said it would still be a loss.
“Idaho is missing out so much on not allowing the hemp oil sales,” she said.
Evans said the first time she tried CBD oil, it eliminated the pain from a recent shoulder surgery that she said she had been taking 190 prescription pain pills a month to manage.
“It’s sold all over,” she said. “I would like them to at least either let me sell or open a dialogue with us.”