Great-grandmother arrested for having CBD oil at Walt Disney World

in Disney, Entertainment, Magic Kingdom, Theme Parks, Travel, Walt Disney World

Woman arrested for having CBD oil at Disney, raises legal debate

Credit: Disney

A 69-year-old woman from North Carolina looking to enjoy a magical trip to Walt Disney World with her family was arrested in front of Magic Kingdom after being in possession of CBD oil, which was recommended to her by a North Carolina doctor.

Hester Burkhalter, the great-grandmother looking to enjoy the Disney Parks with her family on a once-in-a-lifetime trip told Fox 35 News that she had been planning this trip for the past two years, only to end up arrested with a felony charge and a 12-hour stay in jail before posting bail.

Woman arrested for having CBD oil at Disney, raises legal debate
Credit: Fox 35 News

Burkhalter told Fox 35 that she had been taking the CBD oil on recommendation by her North Carolina doctor to help her deal with her arthritis, which she suffers from in her arms, legs, and shoulder.

Like all Walt Disney World guests, Burkhalter had to go through the bag check line outside of the Transportation and Ticket Center, where her bag underwent inspection. This is where the CBD oil was found inside of her purse, which Burkhalter said she had a letter from her doctor for. However, this was not enough for Florida deputies.

After security found the CBD oil, Burkhalter was then arrested on property and taken into custody.

According to Burkhalter, the arrest came as a shock. She didn’t know what to think, “I never had but one speeding ticket in my life. I’ve never been in a jail house before,” said Burkhalter.

According to Fox 35 News, the CBD oil Burkhalter had been taking was said to contain 0 MG of THC, which is what gets you high in marijuana. However, according to Burkhalter’s arrest report, it was said that a deputy had tested the oil and found that it did come back positive for THC.

Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

According to state law, any CBD is illegal in the state of Florida unless you have a prescription. Prosecutors later dropped the charges against Burkhalter, but the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said its deputy was following the law.

Fox 35 reports that once a recently passed hemp bill is signed into law, CBD oil will become legal in the state of Florida. This will allow state residents to legally use the product for uses similar to Burkhalter anywhere, including the Florida theme parks, such as those found at Walt Disney World.

Source: Fox 35

67 Comments

  1. John Lomaga

    SERIOUSLY ! only in Florida ! What a D**K !

  2. DARLENE KENWORTHY

    Considering the bottle said it contained 0% THC, IF IF IF the product did contain THC how would she know?? Such a messed up society we live in. We are soooo scared of the evil Marijuana plant that we don’t sop to think with our brains. Meanwhile we are handing out pharmaceuticals that cause a “high” like candy and there is no law against that, except to have a prescription, which technically she did.

  3. Berrett Maynard

    That Should NEVER and I MEAN NEVER HAPPEN! A Doctors Letter should be as valid as an RX.

  4. Seriously, so ridiculous. This oil is helping people and it definitely does not get you high. So many are not being told the truth about how something NATURAL can be helpful to them! So sorry this woman was treated this way, her doctors note should have been enough.

  5. james

    Boy glad those cops are on the job there busting grandmaws with CBD… meanwhile crackhead hookers and meth heads out doing real drugs and road ragers out of control on Florida highways but our cops busting great grandmaws SHAME on the cops

  6. Jim Beckett

    The problem isn’t with the law. It allows 0% THC CBD oil. The problem isn’t with the deputy. He was doing his job appropriately. The problem is t with the Doctor. He probably provided the best documentation & support he could, given his local laws.

    The problem is with the PRODUCER who sold this woman a product that was a.) improperly manufactured or b.) improperly labeled. Imho, that’s where the fault lies. And that’s who I’d be getting a partial refund of my vacay $ from. There are no consistent monitored standards for the purity and content of CBD oil. The producer is either sloppy or producing a product they know isn’t what’s on the label.

    Be safe. Leave your oil in your hotel room. In your room safe….

  7. CBD oil is a hemp based product and LEGAL in all 50 States after the Farm Bill Act passed in 2018.

  8. Cindy

    Ok I really call bull on this because if i wanted to waste 40 bucks, ( because it really didnt help me when i used it), I could go up to the health food store and get a small bottle if cbd right now, no script. I promise you. Why would i even waste my time commenting if it wasnt true? This comment diesnt benefit me. I live 45 minutes from Disneyworld, sorry but this simply is not true.

    1. cindy

      To once cindy to another, lay off the cbd oil…

      1. Carol Zoller

        Well DISNEY Unfortunately lost me as a smoker. 1000$ trip for me cancelled. I know smoking is an evil thing in life but it is LEGAL. There were only three smoking areas in a huge Disney park anyhow. They could have just put them in far out of the way areas. Oh well their loss! I’m sure there are others who aren’t going too! Lifelong fan gone. If I was that lady I wouldn’t give them a dime more after the issues she had. Disney thinks we live in Russia and have no freedom. Hey Disney this is America and we do have legal freedoms.

    2. Thomas Watkins

      Dear. It may not have helped you but it turned my life around. I have a brain disease and fractured neck. I was bedridden and confined to a scooter when we moved from Ohio to Florida at my doctors suggestion. I started cbd oil daily and within two weeks I had no pain in my arms and began to lift them. Shortly thereafter I could raise them above my head. I began walking first with a cane now completely without assistance. So I don’t care what anyone wants to say I’m not selling it I just know it works

    3. Anne with an E

      It may not have worked for you but it works for others. Without CBD I would be a mess. You have a severe case of cranial rectal insertion. I suggest you get that seen to

  9. Omega

    If I was Disney I’d be saying oh crap and giving her a decade pass her lawyer will have a easy win on this one.

    1. Mouse57

      If the USA wants to get picky….have one person eat lemon poppyseed muffins and the other take hemp cbd and see who tests positive for drugs.Seriously people! I think it is frightening the big drug manufacturers that they will lose market share.

  10. This is pretty unbelievable . There is actually s law that day .03% thc is legal. They better have dropped the charges!

  11. Robert Thompson

    Good afternoon.

    I’m visiting your fine state right now and came across this article. I’m from North Carolina and am the owner of a hemp farm as well as the compliance officer for the same. I would like to make some things clear regarding CBD products.

    First, hemp or a CBD product can have no more than 3/10ths of one percent of THC to be legal. You will often see this written as 0.3%. Not 0.03% as an earlier poster stated.

    Second, the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp became law after being signed by the president on December 20, 2018. It is legal in all 50 states.

    Third, the testing required to determine THC and CBD content has to be done by a certified lab using either gas or liquid chromatography. An adequate test cannot be performed on the side of the road. Testing merely for the presence of THC is no longer applicable.

    Lastly, the FDA still bans the sale of edible products containing CBD.

    Regards,

    Robert Thompson

  12. Terry

    Gestapo at it again…..sheesh…..wake up Florida

  13. Denise

    I sell CBD oil all day in Florida grocery store. It helps so many people. It is a plant oil people. Hemp oil and it’s well known CBD component does NOT get you high.

  14. Stan

    But but but it’s NATURAL and it comes from a plant….
    So does heroin.
    The fact that people can be so stupid when trying to justify use / possession of the chronic makes me pretty sure it *should* be illegal.
    .

    1. Chris

      Stan, you might want to be a bit more informed before you start spouting off nonsense. Just saying.

  15. Lainie Smith

    I guess it is not the happiest place after all :o(… Off to Universal Studios I go… Hi Ho!

  16. DONNA ROGERS

    Thomas Watkins, what brand do you use?

  17. You are ABSOLUTELY right. Thank you for pointing out how everyone did everything correctly, especially the deputy – they have a hard enough job.

    As a former compounding pharmaceutical technician, I know the importance of making sure what is IN the bottle is written ON the bottle – along with complete instructions, doctor’s name, phone number, and address.

    Manufacturers need to be more careful and there needs to be MUCH more oversight on CBD oil.

  18. net net

    the problem is every gas station in Florida sells CBD OIL and Florida collects sales tax on those sales but yet they arrest a women for having it.

  19. Since the charges were dropped I wonder if she will get her bail money and disney costs returned?

    1. Andrew Allen

      Disney can out sexual things in their cartoons for kids to see but arrest great ma’s Here is how I as FORMER Disney park goer will react
      IM DONE no more cash from me and I was thinking about taking a disney cruise porting out of Jacksonville Fl!
      I don’t smoke drink r do drugs but I have used CBD oil and this is perverse. That deputy has the choice … hat would he do with his own grandmother??

  20. La Toya Braxton

    Will she get restitution and reimbursement? That’s all I’m interested in knowing.

  21. Gino Sabato

    The problem is with Disney security. You are a guest that is paying absurd amounts of money to enjoy your vacation with Disney. They should have a little discretion. There was a time that Disney didn’t even allow police on their property unless they were called out for some reason. You never got pulled over on Disney property and so long as you were not causing a disturbance you were left alone. Now the that Disney has decided to become fascist, even telling people they can’t have a cigarette outdoors, they feel they can get away with anything they want. It’s not as if this lady had 3 fat joins rolled up and ready to go, she had medicine that you can buy at pretty much any gas station, smoke shop etc.. in both Orange and Osceola Counties. CBD is not illegal and if the sample specifically said no THC then there was no reason to report this to deputies and certainly no reason for the deputy to do anything other than apologize for the trouble.

  22. Sydney

    I love CBD. Grow up America. There’s nothing wrong with marijuana & certainly nothing wrong with freakin CBD. Ridiculous.

  23. CJBrownLV

    I think Deputy I. Gotsta Makequota could have handled this better upon seeing the Dr’s Note AND the CBD Oil by asking Great Grandma to please take the CBD Oil back to her Hotel Room (really, she is not a thug, or a gang member, or a drug pusher, or someone trying to rob a park guest – common sense over “it’s the law” – because I’m sure Great Grandma didn’t look like that intoxicated and belligerent guest 40 years younger than her found throughout Florida theme park zones!) 🙄

    I use CBD Oil here in Las Vegas, and I’m recovering from surgeries on both knees and my lower back! It works for me, I can function and I don’t need prescriptive pain medication (I purchase top notch CBD Oil from my local dispensary – not from the gas station – so that I am guaranteed quality assurance!) 😊👉

    If I go to Disneyland, or Universal Studios Hollywood, I will use the CBD Oil – but I will leave it back in my hotel room (vs trying to go through Theme Park Security with it!). I’m sure someday the Laws will change (even though I believe that 2018 Farm Bill is good enough) to reflect the fact that some of us Seniors (I’m in my 50’s) require CBD Oil to improve our mobility – heavens to Betsy that having access to a legal substance would allow us to move without using a cane, or motorized chair! 🙄

  24. Denise

    Happy for you! Can you share your brand and dose?

    1. Jake

      We use Colomont CBD products with excellent results.
      Dosage depends on reason for using and how chronic the issue is.

  25. joe

    spoken like a big pharma supporter getting kickbacks…STFU

  26. Ted Ansley

    Even though I’m mostly anti-lawsuite, this in a case where I think she should file a lawsuit against Disney and the OC pollice for wrongful arrest and detention.

  27. DAS

    Then you were probably taking something that had no CBD in it at all.
    There are two different kinds of CBD.
    1. CBD from Cannibis
    2. CBD from Hemp

    The Hemp based products are not monitored, tested, no oversight whatsoever. Just like vitamins and other “nutritional” products, there is no oversight. The manufacturer can state it has % of CBD in the product and it really does not. It might have ZERO CBD in it.

    CBD from Cannibis that is grown, produced and sold in states that have legalized Cannibis is regulated. It is tested and they are strictly monitored. CBD products from Cannibis may have a small trace amount of THC in it. Unless one buys a product that is mixed and has both CBD and THC. For instance, you can get CBD:THC 1:! Or even CBD:THC 10:1
    For those with chronic pain, the 1:1 products work better than THC products. And I am talking THC products from Cannibis, not Hemp.

    In addition, hemp products tend to cost more than Cannibis products. Which is really odd since it does not have marijuana/cannibis in it.

    I’ve been taking CBD and THC Cannibis for over 8 months and I’ve noticed a HUGE difference with my Sjogrens and Fibromyalgia. I also have migraines and the THC product that I use for that only has 10mg of THC Cannibis. Much better than the chemical narcotics they prescribe for migraines! And the little bit of CBD and THC that I do per day is a lot better on me than the Advil or Aleve that I was taking 3 of up to 4x’s per day. And FAR better than any opioids or other Rx pain meds!

    They need to make it legal in all states!

  28. I wouldn’t say that we are handing out pills like candy. It sounds like you are referencing pain killers like oxycodone & OxyContin. I broke my L3, L4 herniated my L5 and have 3 herniations in my neck and I quit taking meds about 5 years ago based on the debacle you have to go through to get them. First off, forget seeing a regular doctor – you have to go to a Pain Management place. Depending on their philosophy – they might be injection-happy vs writing RX’s. Once you find a place that will write an RX – the new law here in NJ is that on the initial visit to the doc – he can write you a RX for no more then 5 days worth of pills. You MUST go back after 5 days & get drug tested – 1) to make sure the drugs are in your system to affirm that you are not selling them and 2) to make sure you do not have any other unauthorized meds in your system. Then once you get an RX for say 90 count of 30 mg Oxycodone – good luck finding a pharmacy that will fill them. The first two I went to, Rite Aid & CVS lied & said they don’t carry it. HUGE lie. So neither of you guys carry the biggest selling opioid on the market? Lie. So Walgreens ended up filling it. Then after about 11 mos of me going to the same Walgreens – they say one day to me “Yeah, were not filling this.” I said why? It’s the same doc as usual, same count as usual, same strength as usual. They said they don’t have to give me an answer – they just said no. So now I had to go to Walmart. They’d fill it but then play the game “Oh wait, we don’t have all 90. We have 75.” Ok great, give me the 75 and when I’m towards the end I’ll come back for the extra 15. Nope. I come back and they said – “Oh, you have to get the remaining balance that was due within 3 days or we can’t give them to you (within 3 days of me initially getting them). I was pissed and went onto the DEA’s website & printed out the procedure that specifically says that what they told me is not true. So the next month this same thing happens at Walmart. They give me like 80 this time. So now I’m thinking “Ok – I’ll go by your B$ policy & get the balance within 3 days (and btw – how am I supposed to know that you’ll get more within the 3 day window?) So the next day I pass another Walmart & go into the pharmacy thinking “Ok, I’m sure they’ll have the last 10 pills that I need.” and the pharmacist goes “Oh, you have to go back to the original pharmacy you went to to get these (which is about 25 mins away at this point). I just laughed and gave up.

    So now – while I definitely DO qualify for meds – I’m not willing to go through the B$ you have to go through to get them, and keep getting them. I’d hardly call what I described as “Handing out pills like candy.”

  29. Eoz

    The goverment neeed to allow everywhere not allow company’s to control .. goverment need to allow all herbs herbal medical should be allowed .. idot Disney needs to be sued

  30. Michael OGorman-Carlson

    If I were her I would file a lawsuit against Disney since as of 2018 by Federal Law, CBD oil is legal in all states. “In 2018, President Trump passed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill), which removed hemp as a Schedule I substance and reclassified it as an “agricultural commodity.””

  31. Work of Art

    Well, so what if there is a prescription, then its because it comes from an out of state doctor, my be invalid also… thats ow people get shot by cops, they are the ones escalating simple issues…

  32. Rob

    I’ve been a security host for 6 years at Disney, and an avid CBD oil let user,so me clear up a few things.
    There are still smoking areas at the parks, just not IN the parks. Outside the entrance of each park, there will be places to smoke.
    What most likely happened was the screener that checked her bag found a glass vial containing the oil. Two things you can’t bring in are alcohol and glass, so he probably asked his manager about allowing it.
    The manager, who probably doesn’t know anything about CBD oil, called one of the front entrance deputies over and that individual, who probably also doesn’t know anything about CBD oil, claims to have “tested” it and determined it was an illegal substance.
    I’ve never EVER been briefed that CBD oil was not allowed on property, so what it comes down to is this : if the deputy did not actually “test” the oil (since it sounds impossible to actually do so), he should face consequences for that. If the oil was in a glass bottle, but was not actually a “prescription” but just a doctor’s recommendation, the glass bottle should not have been let in. She should have been offered the opportunity to return it to her car or hotel.
    Yes, there are a dozen smoke shops within a ten minute (30 minutes by Florida traffic standards) drive of my house and they all sell CBD oil.
    If Disney security didn’t know any better, the deputy should have. This is very unfortunate, and my guess is that the charges were dropped because there was no proper way to test it on the scene, so hopefully someone will be paying for this.

  33. Michael

    It may not have helped you but for millions of others it has performed miracles. Someone needs to be held accountable for the hardship caused to this lady. You can buy CBD in drug stores, convenience stores, online, etc so saying it is illegal is a bunch of crap. A lot of CBD oils on the market, because it is unregulated and untested by third party companies, can be crap. If there are more than the 2 major ingredients in the CBD bottle then its crap. Pure CBD oils have the options of having the legal limit of THC which is .03% or none at all. For this lady to be arrested is a joke. SOme heads should roll if I was her!

  34. JA

    Obviously the police officer was way too aggressive. Carries Dr’s note!! The state dropped the charges and the police officer ruined a family trip. She probably needs THC after a 12 hour jail stint…

  35. Sheila williams

    As another 70+ grandmother with five grandkids
    Disney won’t be getting any of my money. Boycott!!! Is pay back and wins over stupidity. Disney needs to reimburse all Grandma’s expenses and then treat her and her family royally

    1. Since they announced their no cannabis policy but still allow the open sale of alcohol at Epcot and people get stupid drunk there (I’ve seen it), and you can take your opiates into the park without complaint, I have boycotted Disney and their products. They are hypocrites. Even children with seizure disorder who use CBD oil can’t take it into the park. “Where dreams come true” my backside!

  36. They owe her another trip to Disney!

  37. So what was she supposed to do? Run back to the hotel every time she needed to medicate? This is ridiculous. People inside Epcot can and do buy booze from the street carts and get so drunk they walk into light poles. I’ve seen it happen. But CBD oil leads to an arrest???

  38. So my son-in-law, who has seizure disorder that has been markedly helped by CBD oil (he currently takes 350mg a day), doesn’t deserve to be able to go to Disney with his kids, but if he wanted to get blotto on alcohol at Epcot that’s okay? I emailed Disney right after they announced their NO MMJ policy and was informed not only was security looking for it but they have dogs patrolling the park that have been trained to smell it. Yeah….I live in FL too. My sister worked at Epcot for 16 years.

  39. People exhibiting ignorance like yours are a big part of the problem. It’s not “chronic;” it’s cannabis or medical marijuana. The justification for using it is simple….it works. Maybe some day you’ll be diagnosed with a condition that responds to MMJ like many of us….then you’ll get the point. We’re not stupid. In fact, we’re pretty darn smart. I’ve gone from 33 pills a day to one (allergy pill), and the THC edible I eat at bedtime. It has enabled me to get off opiates, antidepressants, antianxiety meds, sleeping pills, and migraine meds. I’ve lost 40 pounds. My sleep apnea is gone. I’m living life again. People like you are why I advocate for seniors and the disabled who benefit from medical cannabis.

  40. Josh

    Great-Grandmother? At 69?

  41. frostysnowman

    Except CBD oil is legal and does not contain THC, the ingredient in pot that makes you high.

  42. SHROO

    She got the one angry redneck cop

  43. todd

    cbd oil is actually legal if it contains less than 3% thc. i live in florida and see these products being sold in convenience stores all over the state including polk county which is where disney is.

  44. Jeremy

    What the heck is the world coming to. Even great grandma can’t even enjoy time with her family with a doctor’s note. Its not like she was selling it at the theme park, But to give her a felony is not serving justice its just flat out wrong. God please bless America

  45. Jake

    We use Colomont brand and find the products very effective.

  46. Nancy Luckhurst

    That was just a gung ho cop looking to make a name for himself. we can buy CBD here in FL over the counter. been able to buy for several years here in stores.

  47. Ziva Goldman

    When I bought my CBD oil, it stated that although it contained no THC, it could possibly test POSITIVE! I had to be careful if I decided to take it at work. So, either the store she bought it from failed to tell her or she chose to ignore the warning. It sucks that her vacation was ruined.

  48. Ziva Goldman

    But it doesn’t get you high! There are tons of things, both safe and dangerous, that come from plants. If the CBD oil works for people, why not allow it’s use?

  49. Harley

    This cbd used for medical not like old lady was found at the parks selling pot out of her purse (i am sorry from fl something crazy like that would be on local news daily)! I mean i am glad security is up on their game at wdw keeping everyone safe but this is totally insane! This grandma needs more than an apology!

  50. Ladybat2

    The idiot security person responsible for this must have a Barny Fife personality. Just itching to do his job and enforce his own personal power over someone else. Disney should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen. And even if CBD oil did get you high. SO THE HELL WHAT! Maybe some of us would rather have that than liver rotting alcoholic drinks that Disney does not mind people at their parks getting drunk on. WE ARE ON OUR VACATION THERE. Not driving a car or piloting an air plane! SERIOUSLY. People really should start minding their own business about what we choose to do WITH OUR OWN BODIES!

  51. FactCzek

    I might suggest the fault is in the test provider that gives faulty positives in the presence of terpenes and sesquiterpenes.

  52. RG

    Only in the South. Reconstruction should NEVER have happened. Give it all back to France and Spain and take Donald Trump with you.

  53. This is very Amazing and Very Informative Artical we get alot of Informations from this artical we really appreciate your team work keep it up and keep posting such a informative articles.

    1. Dr. George Board

      So sad to hear about this story… we are in our 70s and for the past 10 years have been to Disney/ fla at least once or twice a year. NO MORE…. The prices are too high and treating a senior citizen like this is beyond ridiculous.
      Luckily we can choice any number of vacation spots and Florida and Disney will now be at the bottom of the list. Boycott these idiots…. they understand “money “or the lack off.

    2. Dr George Board

      What jerks…. no more Disney for us. We are in our 70s and have gone to Disney each year every since we retired. Will not return and will discourage our friends and family from going.
      Plenty of welcoming spots other than Fla and Disney..

      1. Ken

        How were they jerks?

        It is still against the law in Florida and the body cam counters her claims on how she was treated.

  54. Mason

    Thats a lie, i was at a smoke shop selling, hemp CBD. CBD Is legal everywhere in america, that cop was lying or doesn’t know what he was talking about. It was derived from hemp. Hemp from cbd is legal in all 50 states. And 0.3 thc is the legal limit.

  55. Garf

    Lol Florida… serial killers, hookers and methheads running wild. But harmless CBD oil is illegal. Gotta love it.

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