Store owner sentenced on drug charge

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A former Pelham business owner will spend the next two years on probation after she pleaded guilty to one count of possession of marijuana in late 2016. Three drug distribution charges were dropped against her through a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Modi

Modi

Kinnari Kothari Modi, a 56-year-old who lists an address on Thompson Road in Alabaster, pleaded guilty to one felony count of first-degree possession of marijuana during a Nov. 30, 2016, hearing in front of District Court Judge Daniel Crowson.

She originally was sentenced to two years in prison, but her sentence was suspended to two years on probation. She also must complete and pay for a substance abuse treatment program, according to court documents.

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested Modi on Dec. 8, 2015, and charged her with three counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and one felony count of first-degree possession of marijuana.

The arrest came after Task Force members said Modi allegedly distributed CBD oil on three separate occasions from the Country Grocery convenience store in the 3100 block of Shelby County 52: Once on Oct. 23, 2015, once on Nov. 4, 2015, and again on Nov. 12, 2015.

The store has since closed, and is now open under a different name and ownership.

On Nov. 12, 2015, Modi also allegedly was in possession of marijuana for a reason “other than personal use,” according to her arrest warrants.

CBD oil has been legal in Alabama for medical use since the Alabama Legislature passed a bill authorizing it in 2014. The substance currently is being used through a program at UAB Hospital to treat symptoms such as frequent seizures caused by other diseases and disorders.

However, CBD oil, which is derived from the cannabis plant, is illegal in Alabama for use outside approved medical programs.