Is CBD Oil Legal? A Complete Guide to State Laws in 2019
Find out if CBD is Legal In Your State.
Because of its frequent association with marijuana, CBD has experienced a frequently confusing and at times contradictory legal history in the United States. The guide below intends to clear up some of that confusion with up-to-date answers to frequently asked questions about its current state of legality across the country. But, keep in mind the Cannabis industry is complex and frequently changing so we also recommend checking with your state to get the most up-to-date information on regulations.
What Is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound from plants in the cannabis family, including the hemp plant. CBD is just one of more than a hundred different types of cannabinoids, the molecules produced uniquely by cannabis plants. Unlike the cannabinoid THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that CBD does not cause the high associated with marijuana. Instead CBD reportedly lowers anxiety levels, reduces pain and inflammatory, treats some forms of seizures, and results in feelings of relaxation.
The Cannabis sativa variety of plant produces both hemp and marijuana. The difference is the percentage of THC in the plant. Cannabis with 0.3 percent or less of THC content classifies as hemp, while cannabis containing more than 0.3 percent of THC is considered marijuana.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
The often murky legal status of CBD stems largely from conflicting federal and state laws, recent changes in both, status of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, and the ongoing confusion and conflicts related to the hemp plant and marijuana.
So Why Is There So Much Confusion About CBD? Hemp was made legal on the federal level in 2019:
Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“Farm Bill”), which was then signed into law at the end of the year. The Farm Bill removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, expands hemp’s commercial cultivation, and legalizes hemp production on Indian tribal land and in U.S. territories. Hemp regulations now belong under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) instead of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Since hemp now is legal, most presume that CBD derived from hemp also is legal. However, the regulations do not explicitly extend legal status to hemp extracts.
But the legality of CBD is still murky and depends in-part on form factor:
The Farm Bill grants the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) the authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act. So if a product is meant to be used as a drug, food, dietary supplement, or cosmetic, and that product is sold across state lines, then it is subject to FDA regulation.
FDA is currently evaluating CBD’s safety. For now, its stance is that products that add CBD to food or label CBD as a dietary supplement are not legal for interstate commerce.
And the regulations are developing still:
- The USDA intends to complete its final rules on hemp production by August 2019.
- The FDA is reviewing its rules and has held public hearings, inviting feedback.
- Congress is considering several cannabis-related pieces of legislation that could make further changes.
Plus states have their own sets of laws:
Just as each state has its own stance on medical marijuana, as you’ll see below each state has its own sets of laws and policies around CBD cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, selling, and possession. To further complicate the legal landscape, many of these states’ legislatures are reviewing proposed amendments to existing laws. In many instances, regulating agencies still are in the process of developing regulations and procedures related to CBD.
Overall, most states permit the use of CBD at least for specific medical conditions. Many states also define legal CBD as the extract from hemp with zero or very low amounts of THC. CBD remains illegal still in some places. Find out how your state classifies possession of CBD below.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, references to CBD mean CBD produced by an industrial hemp plant with no more than 0.3 percent THC.
Legal Status of CBD in Each State
Alabama’s Attorney General issued a Public Notice stating that CBD from hemp can be legally produced, sold, and possessed in the state.
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”), which has regulatory authority over industrial hemp, issued proposed industrial hemp rules. These rules will require retailers register with DNR to sell hemp and hemp products.
CBD is legal.
CBD was removed from the state’s list of controlled substances, and no license or permit is required by the state to sell or deliver CBD products.
California law does not currently provide any requirements for the manufacturing, processing, or selling of non-food industrial hemp or hemp products. But the California Department of Public Health claims CBD is illegal in all foods, beverages, and some other products. A proposed new law (AB-228) would expand those allowable types of products.
CBD is clearly legal in this state, with food, beverages, lotions, and other products infused with CBD for sale in a variety of businesses.
CBD is legal to purchase and consume.
CBD products have been legal in Delaware since 2014.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has begun work on rulemaking for its commercial hemp regulations. CBD is legal, but currently unregulated.
Though medical marijuana remains illegal, patients with certain medical conditions can possess “low THC oil” if they have a Low THC Oil Registry Card from the Department of Public Health. Only CBD with mo more than 5 percent THC is legal.
The state’s Department of Health issued a statement hat no CBD products can be processed, distributed, or sold legally in Hawaii without a prescription.
Anything with any amount of THC in it is illegal here.
CBD for medical use has been legal for years, but starting January 1, 2020, CBD will be legal for all.
Law here allows you to buy, sell, or possess CBD products.
Medical marijuana dispensaries opened in December 2018, and state law says CBD products can only be sold with a dispensary license.
Law allows for the use and sale of CBD that contains no THC. CBD containing no more than 5 percent THC can be used to treat debilitating medical conditions. A bill permitting industrial hemp production recently passed, leading to confusion whether CBD from industrial hemp meeting federal definitions — and containing up to 0.3 percent THC — now is legal too.
You can legally grow, manufacture, and own CBD products.
State officials have warned that CBD with even trace amounts of THC is illegal.
CBD is to be treated as a food rather than a medicine. Sales of CBD products are legal as long as no medical claims are made to promote the product.
you will soon be able to buy topical CBD products at the local drug store.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources released a policy statement that prohibits the sale of food containing CBD, CBD products that make medicinal claims, animal feed with hemp, and the sale of unprocessed or raw plant material to consumers. Legislation has been filed to reverse that policy.
CBD products are available and allowed in the state without need for a medical marijuana card.
The first dedicated CBD and hemp store opened in Minneapolis at the end of 2018.
The state restricts CBD use as a medical treatment. CBD oil must be tested by the National Center for Natural Products Research and dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Patients with epilepsy can apply for a hemp extract registration card to purchase CBD oil from one of two state-licensed facilities.
While not expressly permitted, the state has no laws prohibiting or regulating CBD.
The Nebraska Hemp Farming Act exempts hemp and hemp products from the state’s controlled substances act. However, without any specific protections for the retail sale of CBD there is concern that law enforcement actions against CBD products could continue.
Though CBD products are legal in the state, CBD as a food additive is not yet. Until the FDA approves its use in food and drinks, CBD-infused edible products will be considered illegal.
CBD is legal, unless added to food. The state Bureau of Public Health Protection issued an advisory warning food establishments that CBD is not permitted in food under FDA guidelines.
New Jersey’s hemp program is pending USDA final rules and plan approval.
In May 2019, a new law specifically authorized the sale of CBD and food products containing CBD.
A law is pending governor signature for the regulation of hemp production and hemp extracts, including CBD. The City of New York banned the use of CBD in food and drinks.
By law, only patients with epilepsy are allowed to use and possess CBD, and it remains illegal to cultivate or produce hemp extract in the state. Current legislation, if passed, would change that.
Hemp is still considered a controlled substance in the state constitution, if it is extracted from legally produced hemp and contains less than 0.3 percent THC it is not illegal to possess.
A bill awaiting the governor’s signature would allow CBD to be sold outside medical marijuana dispensaries. Right now, the product is legal in Ohio but only in regulated dispensaries.
The state legislature approved the retail sale of CBD, becoming the first state to require CBD product labels declare the country of origin and whether the cannabidiol is natural or synthetic.
To be legal, CBD products must be tested and certified by an Oregon lab.
While hemp-derived CBD is fine, anything made from marijuana has to go through the state’s medical marijuana system.
Low-THC CBD products are legally available throughout the state, and high-THC products are available at medical marijuana dispensaries.
CBD is legal for only certain severe seizure disorders.
The Attorney General released a statement in March 2019 saying that hemp and CBD are still illegal in South Dakota.
CBD oil that is less than 0.9 percent THC and “obtained legally in the United States and outside of” Tennessee has been legal since 2015. Both Walgreens and CVS plan to sell CBD in stores in the state.
Recently passed a hemp growth program that protects hemp products like CBD and includes labeling and retailer registration requirements. Law enforcement officials say that while CBD is legal, if it has even a trace amount of THC, then possessing it could result in a felony charge because not even medical marijuana is legal here yet.
According to the Utah Department of Health Hemp Registry, you must apply for and obtain a hemp extract registration card from the Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics.
CBD is legally sold and bought in Vermont.
CBD is legal, unless it is added to foods. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued guidance that the state’s food safety regulations prohibit the introduction in interstate commerce of any food or dietary supplement containing CBD.
General use and high-CBD compliant products may be sold at any licensed marijuana store.
You can legally buy CBD in West Virginia. The state recently enacted a law that modifies the state’s hemp licensing program to ensure the sale of CBD can continue in the state.
Any Wisconsin citizen can possess CBD oil, as long as their physician certifies it is being used to treat a medical condition.
State law now allows for use and possession of hemp and hemp products, including CBD.
Here are some other things to consider when thinking about regulation…
Can You Carry CBD on a Plane?
The TSA recently updated its policies to allow an FDA-approved marijuana-based drug and CBD produced in line with the Farm Bill requirements. Passengers are permitted to carry on CBD derived from hemp that contains 0.3 percent or less of THC. Though technically allowed, exercise caution when traveling. Since most states do not yet have guidelines in place for testing of products, your CBD product might contain more THC than advertised. In that situation, you could be detained and even arrested.
Will CBD Appear on a Drug Test?
While CBD itself does not appear on drug tests for marijuana, there is a chance you might fail a drug test. Since testing of CBD products is largely unregulated, a product might be mislabeled and actually contain more THC than claimed. Your best bet is to only obtain products from a company that can provide a Certificate of Analysis that certifies their product was tested and only contained the claimed amount of THC.