A new ordinance passed by the Sanford City Council on Tuesday prohibits the sale of CBD products, like this drink, to anyone younger than 21. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

SANFORD — Retailers who sell products containing cannabidiol, known as CBD — from gummy candies to drinks — may no longer sell them to customers in Sanford who are younger than 21 years old. As well, retailers who sell the products will be regulated on how the items can be displayed.

The Sanford City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to make that change.

Raising the age to 21 to buy CBD products labelled as dietary supplements or included in food products was proposed “for sort of the same reasons we don’t let children buy non-alcoholic beer and we took candy cigarettes off the market,” said Deputy Mayor Lucas Lanigan, who introduced the measure. “I think the CBD market is a facade to make it seem like marijuana is a safe product for our youths’ consumption and a cure-all for any medical ailment.”

Sanford officials believe the city may be the first municipality in Maine to approve an ordinance that restricts CBD sales to those 21 and older.

According to an April 15 Associated Press piece, CBD often comes from a cannabis plant known as hemp, which is defined by the U.S. government as having less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the substance in marijuana that produces an altered state.

There is very little science behind most of the health claims made for CBD, which is turning up in cosmetics, foods and dietary supplements, the AP said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to hold a public hearing on May 31 to gather information on the science, manufacturing and sale of cannabis compounds such as CBD.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation in March that allows, cannabidiol,  a hemp byproduct, to be treated as a food, rather than a medicine, according to a March 27 Portland Press Herald story. Sellers won’t be allowed to make any health claims. The emergency legislation came after inspectors in January told retailers to remove edible products containing CBD from their shelves because the product is not a federally approved food additive, according to the Press Herald report.

Those selling CBD products in Sanford will have to follow regulations on how they can be displayed.

If sold in stores where people under 21 are allowed to be present, CBD products must be in locked cabinets, distinct and separate from other products and accessible only with store employee assistance.

If the CBD products are to be sold in a location where those under 21 are not allowed, they must be placed in cabinets or shelves or behind the sales counter, accessible with store employee assistance.

Sanford Community Development Director Ian Houseal said the city plans to notify retailers of the ordinance.

He said the goal is compliance. Those who don’t comply will be reminded of the fact, he said, and if changes aren’t forthcoming, the city could seek court action for the civil violation.

The council also voted to prohibit so-called “vape stores,” from locating within 500 feet of the property boundary of any public or private primary or secondary school.

“It’s all about safety,” said Councilor Robert Stackpole, who brought the provision about specialty vape stores to the City Council’s zoning subcommittee.

Specialty stores are defined by the city as retail businesses in which more than 20 percent of floor area or display is devoted to paraphernalia and liquids used in electronic smoking devices, or 67 percent of the businesses’ gross revenue from the prior year is derived from sale of the liquids or paraphernalia.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

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