When it comes to hemp and cannabis, the web of legislation is tough to untangle. Trying to decipher the medical marijuana programs of various states is hard work. Take a look at the MMJ situation in Virginia for proof! Unfortunately, the path towards legality for CBD products also isn’t clear cut.
You may read articles online that say CBD is legal in all 50 states. This isn’t strictly true. Much of the confusion stems from the 2018 Farm Bill. It legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp in the United States. A maximum of 0.3% THC is permitted in the plant.
Each state must also submit its hemp growing program to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Otherwise, they can submit to the USDA’s rules relating to hemp cultivation.
The above does NOT mean that CBD products are legal. The Farm Bill doesn’t explicitly legalize cannabidiol or any other cannabinoid. Instead, each state gets to make rules relating to the sale and purchase of CBD. As it happens, some locations are relatively strict when it comes to cannabidiol.
Are There Restrictions on CBD Products?
If you see CBD capsules for sale online, for example, it isn’t a certainty that you can purchase them in your state. Many people don’t realize that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned CBD’s addition to prepared foods. Technically speaking then, CBD coffees, teas, muffins, and even gummies are federally illegal.
In October 2019, the New York City Health Department sent letters of warning to CBD vendors. The Department said violators of the rule would face punishments such as fines and embargoes.
It is also illegal to market CBD and hemp products as dietary supplements. A pair of lawmakers introduced a bill to the House of Representatives in September 2020 to combat this issue.
Which States Ban What?
This is a tricky question to answer. The rules relating to cannabinoids and their uses seem to change regularly across different states. For instance, South Dakota residents voted to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana in November 2020. Both programs will likely begin in July 2021.
However, up until then, CBD was illegal in South Dakota, let alone cannabis! It remains unclear whether residents will have to wait until marijuana legalization to use CBD.
In Idaho, residents can use CBD products, but only if they contain zero THC. In Iowa, only patients who qualify for the state’s medical-marijuana program can use CBD. However, even such patients must not use products with more than 3% THC.
If this isn’t confusing enough, it is about to get even worse! Even within states that permit the use of CBD products, further obstacles appear at the county level. County health agencies in ‘legal’ states have outlawed the use of cannabidiol in commercial establishments.
Should I Be Concerned About Buying CBD Products?
‘Not really’ is the most accurate answer. CBD laws at the state level are hardly ever enforced, let alone at the county level. Even the FDA hasn’t followed through particularly well in its anti-CBD food and drink mission. The main problems occur when companies are caught selling mislabeled CBD products. One 2018 study found that 69% of cannabidiol products were mislabeled. This is mainly down to a lack of regulation.
Therefore, an adult aged 21+ can buy up to an ounce of marijuana. However, they can’t have a CBD muffin! There is practically no chance of law enforcement bursting into a café that sells CBD mochas.
Even in states where marijuana isn’t legal, if you buy CBD capsules with a maximum of 0.3% THC, there is little chance of encountering problems. Idaho and Iowa residents may find that it is a little trickier. South Dakota citizens probably have no idea if they need to wait until July 2021!
Final Thoughts: Are CBD Products Legal in All States?
Ultimately, the answer to the title question is ‘no.’ There are some states, mainly Iowa, Idaho, and South Dakota, where things aren’t necessarily clear. At present, CBD is not federally legal. Indeed, the FDA doesn’t allow cannabidiol to be added to foods or drinks and sold commercially..