LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney seems to be continuing to show a zero-tolerance policy for anything cannabis-related, even when it comes to non-intoxicating CBD.
This week, reports surfaced that a former bartender at Walt Disney World was fired over CBD oil. Kathy Talafous says she uses CBD to relieve foot pain and purchases CBD oil at a local grocery store. Talafous is not taking her dismissal well.
“It’s pretty much destroyed my life,” she said of her termination.
Talafous was a longtime fan of Disney and visited the park regularly with her family. She spent one year working as a bartender at Disney World. Now, after purchasing a small container of CBD oil, things have taken quite a turn for Talafous. She never predicted a grocery store transaction would profoundly change her life.
“I bought this over the counter at Lucky’s,” Talafous said. “And I didn’t do anything wrong, I went into a store, I bought it. I paid $50 for it.”
While trying to enter Disney World through a security checkpoint at Epcot in April, Talafous was stopped by security over CBD found in her purse.
“They said, ‘You can’t have this, it’s illegal.’ I said, ‘What do you mean it’s illegal,’” Talafous said.
NBC is reporting that Disney claimed the CBD Talafous had in her possession had tested positive for THC in an incident report. Talafous claims to have documentation from the sheriff’s office stating that her product was never tested.
She was suspended shortly after the incident and found out this week that she was fired. Talafous says she is out of money and is seeking her job back. “Now here I am losing my job because of something I bought at a supermarket,” she said.
Only days after Talafous was stopped by security, a great grandmother from North Carolina was arrested for possessing CBD oil at Disney World. Hester Burkhalter, a guest visiting Disney with her family was detained for fifteen hours after security found CBD in her purse. Burkhalter had a note from her physician recommending she use CBD. The charges against her were eventually dropped.
Despite the harsh treatment of CBD by Florida authorities and Disney, medicinal cannabis use is legal in the Sunshine State. Regulators, however, have been routinely accused of trying to stand in the way of the industry and have worked to limit the number of approved cannabis businesses in Florida. Last week, a Florida appellate court ruled that the state’s regulation of medicinal cannabis was unconstitutional and in violation of voter-approved Amendment 2.