The Legal Status of CBD
Disclaimer: As a disclaimer, the legal landscape of CBD is still likely to change rapidly over the next few years or even the next few months, both at a state and federal level. The content provided in this section of our guide is meant only for informational purposes and not for the intention or express purpose of providing legal advice.
Regardless of federal law or information provided in this guide, you must determine for yourself whether you’ll purchase CBD in your area. If you have concerns, do contact your attorney to obtain more specific guidelines on CBD for your specific area or location.
Is CBD Legal?
Dispute over CBD’s legal status is growing. As the hemp compound becomes ever more popular, we see a source of growing tension across the US at its legality, even today. Most people will try to tell you that CBD is 100% legal in every state, guaranteed. Unfortunately, there is some necessary clarification that must be made.
CBD is 100% legal on a federal level thanks to the Hemp Farming Act.
This was introduced through the 2018 Farm Bill, which made industrial hemp legal for cultivation. It also changed a few definitions for legal clarification purposes, indicating that all cannabis Sativa L strains that contain 0.3% THC or less are considered industrial hemp. Under that new legal definition, all hemp products are federally legal for use and consumption by adults 18 years or older.
This was a massive milestone for the US as it took hemp off the Controlled Substances Act, removing it and legally defining the differences between marijuana and industrial hemp. By removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, this also meant the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority over hemp was taken away.
State’s Rights Overrules Federal Rule of Hemp
However, the 2018 Farm Bill’s Hemp Farming Act made it federal in order to give the states their own power to oversee hemp cultivation and production. At the same time, this also gives states the rights to prohibit hemp and/or hemp-derived products. The act sought to enable hemp to become an agricultural commodity to see if the plant warranted remaining legal at a federal level.
The Farm Bill was Still a Milestone Victory
We’re not trying to slight the Farm Bill in any way. It’s notable that the Hemp Farming Act is considered the most important landmark victory in the entire history of hemp in our nation. It is a milestone; a textbook win that has already helped build a multibillion-dollar industry.
May 2019 Changes to the Bill
The US Department of Agriculture in May of 2019 released a memo that explicitly allowed industrial hemp to be moved across state lines. However, the hemp had to comply with a state-approved program and meet all other mandatory regulations.
Because the farm bill puts hemp farming into the state’s hands, it permits states to more stringently regulate hemp any way that they see fit. Some states have done this, all in varying degrees of stronger regulation.
What’s the Legal Status of CBD for Each State?
Interestingly, 17 states have enacted CBD-explicit laws related to the medical field. Let’s look at each state to identify where that state stands when it comes to CBD and other hemp-derived products.
Attorney General Bentley marked through a Public Notice that CBD could legally be possessed, sold, and produced within the state.
There are specific industrial hemp rules for the retailers in Alaska to follow in order to sell and manufacture hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD.
CBD is completely legal in Arizona.
There’s no permit or license required to sell or deliver CBD products within Arkansas. The hemp compound was also specifically removed from the state’s list of controlled substances.
While many CBD products are allowed within the state and it is recreationally legal for marijuana in California, CBD is illegal in all beverages, foods, and even some other types of products.
Possibly the most recreational state in the USA, CBD is 100% legal in Colorado.
CBD is completely legal to purchase and consume in Connecticut.
Ahead of the curve, CBD products have actually been legal in Delaware since 2014.
CBD is technically legal but heavily under-regulated within Florida state lines. Fortunately, a team is working on rulemaking for its commercial hemp regulations.
CBD products that contain no more than 5% THC are legal within Georgia, making valuable products for medical patients across the state.
Medical only, CBD products can’t be distributed, processed, or sold within Hawaii without a prescription from a doctor.
Any amount of THC is illegal within Idaho, so a CBD product is illegal unless it contains 0% THC.
CBD has been legal for medical use for years. In January of 2020, though CBD will be completely legal for everyone in Illinois.
There is a specific law in Indiana that allows the sell and possession of CBD products.
CBD products can only be sold with a dispensary license in Iowa, though medical marijuana dispensaries did open their doors in December of 2018.
CBD products that contain 0% THC are legal, though there are some medical exceptions. There is also a newer industrial hemp law that now allows for any CBD product that contains 0.3% THC or less to be legal, too, which adds to the confusion in the state.
It is legal to grow, manufacture, and sell your own CBD products within Kentucky.
If the CBD product contains even trace amounts of THC, it’s considered illegal within Louisiana state lines.
In Maine, CBD is treated more as a food than as a medicine. That means CBD products are legal as long as there aren’t any medical claims to go along with it that could promote the product in this manner.
Though hazily legal, there are topical CBD products available for sale in local drug stores within Maryland, so it is at least partially above-board.
While legislation has already been filed to reverse the strict policy, Massachusetts in the meantime has CBD restricted if it’s infused into food, medicinal claims are made for the CBD product, hemp’s been mixed with animal feed, or raw or unprocessed plant material if it’s sold to consumers.
While the state is recreational, there is no need for a medical marijuana card to utilize CBD in Michigan.
At the end of 2018, the very first hemp and CBD store opened within state lines for Minnesota.
CBD use as a medical treatment is strictly restricted within Mississippi. CBD oil can only be dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. It must also be tested by the National Center for Natural Products Research.
There are presently two state-licensed facilities that a citizen may go to once they’ve purchased a hemp extract registration card for CBD oil. However, only patients with epilepsy are eligible.
There are no laws expressly permitting, prohibiting, or otherwise regulating CBD within Montana, which technically means the federal law defaults to make CBD legal within state lines.
Nebraska’s own farming act has exempted hemp and hemp-derived products from the state’s controlled substances act, allowing it to act as an agricultural commodity.
CBD is not yet legal within Nevada as a food product, though it is available for sale in any other form.
- New Hampshire
Unless it’s been added into food, CBD is legal within New Hampshire. In fact, CBD-infused edibles are considered illegal until the FDA concludes their safety analysis on CBD and comes to a conclusion.
- New Jersey
The state is likely to have their hemp program go into effect soon. The only thing pending now are USDA’s final rules and the overall plan approval.
- New Mexico
Unlike many other states, New Mexico has a specific law enabling the sale of CBD and food products that contained CBD in May of 2019.
- New York
The use of CBD in drinks and food is banned within New York, though there is presently a law pending to regulate hemp extractions and hemp production.
- North Carolina
Hemp is illegal to cultivate or product within North Carolina, and only patients with epilepsy are allowed to possess and use CBD within state lines.
- North Dakota
Until just recently, North Dakota had a strict enforcement against CBD. In fact, the state’s constitution still states that hemp is a controlled substance. However, if it meets federal standards by containing 0.3% THC or less then it is not technically illegal to possess.
CBD is technically legal in Ohio, but only in regulated dispensaries at this time. However, the governor may sign a bill that’s waiting to allow CBD to be sold outside medical marijuana dispensaries as well.
The state was the first to require that CBD products label the state or country of origin as well as whether the CBD was synthetic or natural. They also approved the retail sale of CBD, so CBD products are legal within Oklahoma.
Even though the state is recreationally legal for marijuana, CBD products are still required to be tested and certified by an Oregon lab before they’re allowed through state lines.
CBD derived from hemp is legal, though anything extracted from marijuana has to go through the state’s medical marijuana system before it can be considered legal.
- Rhode Island
There are both THC and CBD products available medically in Rhode Island.
- South Carolina
While technically legal, South Carolina has made CBD only legal for certain severe seizure disorders.
- South Dakota
Hemp is considered illegal, as well as any other CBD or cannabis product.
CBD oil and other CBD products that contain 0.9% THC or less are legal for sale within Tennessee.
CBD products that contain at least 10% CBD and no more than 0.5% THC are legal in the state of Texas as of 2019.
While legal, a hemp extract registration card is required in order to utilize CBD.
CBD is completely legal to purchase and sell within Vermont.
Unless added into foods, CBD is legal in Virginia.
As Washington is recreationally legal for marijuana, it is unsurprising that CBD is 100% legal to purchase in any license dispensary or cannabis store.
- West Virginia
The state’s hemp licensing program was modified so that the state could ensure they utilize the sale of CBD within their state lines.
A doctor or physician must certify for a Wisconsin citizen to possess CBD oil for one of a certain number of medical conditions. It is medically legal, to a degree.
CBD is presently allowed in Wyoming, as well as other hemp and hemp-derived products.
What States Don’t Allow CBD Products?
That was a lot, and it may just be easier to mention the states that don’t allow any type of cannabis product. There are two states that prohibit all cannabis products, medical CBD, and marijuana. In South Dakota, and Idaho, these are all considered legal.
The state currently has a law that makes industrial hemp illegal in all forms, as well as all forms of CBD oil. There is one exception, however, under SB 22. This exception is the FDA-approved prescription drug, Epidiolex, which does contain CBD but was recognized as a controlled substance under 2018’s legislation.
The state’s laws and guidelines on CBD are a little hazier than South Dakota’s, so we had to do some extra digging for this one. CBD products are potentially legal in Idaho – however, they must contain absolutely zero percent THC. They lump THC in with the Controlled Substances Act, so CBD products that make it through Idaho’s state lines are under a lot more pressure to remain accurate and consistent.
Nebraska’s Recent Changes
Nebraska used to be lumped in with Idaho and South Dakota until just recently. As of LB 1001, industrial hemp has been reclassified as an agricultural product. State-sponsored research into the plant’s cultivation is underway.
What Does the FDA Rule on CBD?
For now, the Food and Drug Administration is monitoring and evaluating CBD’s safety to determine if it’s safe for consumption. That means that presently, any products that add cannabidiol into food or label that CBD is a dietary supplement are not meant for interstate commerce. When you discover a CBD brand that only sells to certain states or cannot sell to specific states, this is typically one of the reasons why.
The regulations on CBD are still developing. In fact, the industry couldn’t me more under-regulated. Fortunately, consumers are becoming better educated on CBD as a whole. Together, consumers are denying low-quality brands from being able to enter the new threshold of the industry, learning how a high-quality CBD product is manufactured and demanding only the best.
Is it Legal to Carry CBD on a Plane?
In line with the Farm Bill requirements, the TSA recently updated its policies regarding CBD and the marijuana-based FDA-approved drug Epidiolex. CBD that’s been derived from hemp that contains 0.3% THC or less is legal to carry and passengers are permitted, though you may want to bring proof that your product contains the appropriate level of THC.
Exercise caution whenever traveling anywhere with CBD. All it takes is one grumpy TSA agent for you to be detained or arrested with your CBD product sent off to a lab for testing, likely never to be seen again.
Legality of CBD is Still Murky
As it stands, Congress is still considering several cannabis-related pieces of legislation that could not only change the tides of history, but also impact the entire CBD industry. Further changes are almost guaranteed to be made, so we’re happy to update this guide to be able to consistently keep up with those changes.
In the meantime, the FDA is inviting feedback, offering public hearings to hear consumer’s voices on the matter of CBD. Since 14% of US American adults are already taking CBD as part of their daily routine, we’re excited for all the positive reinforcement the FDA is sure to get in favor of the loved hemp compound. Stay tuned with us and we’ll be looking forward to showing you what’s next!