While hemp was made legal at the federal level with the 2014 Farm Bill, the legality of CBD still stands in a confusing grey area in many states.
We dug into the laws of each state and even hired a group of lawyers to help us understand the legal landscape.
Here’s what you need to know.
The legality depends on the source of the CBD. While hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states, ‘marijuana’-derived CBD is not legal federally.
The government classifies hemp as any plant of the cannabis family that contains less than 0.3% THC.
It classifies “marijuana” as any plant of the cannabis family that contains greater than 0.3% THC.
The hemp cannabis plant has a high amount of CBD and low THC, making them the most efficient plant for CBD processing.
So the bottom line here is, if your CBD comes from hemp, it is legal. If it comes from “marijuana’, it’s only legal if your state legalized marijuana.
States can be grouped into four jurisdictional categories.
One, Friendliest States.
These are jurisdictions in which there are explicit permissions for the retail sale of industrial hemp-derived products.
These jurisdictions include Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Two, Friendly States.
These are jurisdictions where industrial hemp grown in a Farm Bill-compliant agricultural pilot program is explicitly exempted from the definition of marijuana.
These jurisdictions include the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.
Three, Gray Area States.
These are jurisdictions without explicit prohibitions against the retail sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products but that have exemptions in the law for the argument that hemp-derived CBD products are legal.
These jurisdictions include Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Four, States with Concern.
These are jurisdictions in which, while there are no explicit prohibitions against the sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products, but in which recent law enforcement actions or pronouncements raise the risk of the retail sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products.
These jurisdictions include Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Federal law permissions for activities involving industrial hemp are clear.
However, the Farm Bill, and other federal laws on industrial hemp, do not preempt state law.
Just as there are hundreds of municipalities in the United States that prohibit alcohol sales nearly a century after Prohibition’s repeal, local and state laws may still restrict the sale of industrial hemp products even where federal law is clearly permissive.
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