The 2018 Farm Bill forever changed the history of hemp.
But everyone still wants to know if CBD is legal…
Note: CBD and cannabis laws are quickly changing. To keep you up to date on the latest changes, always check back here at CBD School where we strive to make sure you have the most current information. We know some of you prefer to listen instead of reading. Below you can listen to our latest podcast on the legal status of hemp derived CBD with cannabis lawyer Rod Kight. Make sure to contact Rod for all your cannabis and CBD legal questions.
Essentially the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation, production, consumption, and possession of hemp and hemp-derived products at the federal level.
Seeing that CBD is derived from both hemp and its cousin plant marijuana, does this mean that hemp derived CBD is now legal in all 50 states?
Be that as it may, it’s pretty much really really easy to obtain the best cbd hemp oil from anywhere in the world by just ordering online. Even if you’re camping in the middle of Alaska you can probably get it delivered in a couple days (Thanks Jeff Bezos)!
While technically CBD hemp oil should be legal everywhere, CBD laws by state still vary. Individual states still have the power to ban CBD if they see fit.
We know you want to know if CBD is legal in your state.
Let’s take a look at current CBD laws by state so you can know once and for all if it’s legal for you to use CBD where you currently reside.
*Note: we are discussing CBD derived from hemp in this article. When discussing FDA approved prescription CBD (Epidiolex) or marijuana derived CBD, we will make it clear!*
And speaking of just that, before we dive into current CBD laws, it’s important to distinguish the difference between CBD sourced from hemp, and CBD sourced from marijuana.
Table of Contents
The Difference Between Hemp CBD and Marijuana CBD
Before we get deeper into each state’s CBD laws, it’s important to understand the difference between hemp CBD vs. marijuana CBD.
Hemp Derived CBD
Legal at the federal level
Contains less than 0.3% THC
Non-intoxicating (generally won’t get you high unless you are very sensitive to THC or use large quantities of CBD hemp oil)
Easily purchased online or in retail stores across the country
Marijuana Derived CBD
Illegal at the federal level
Contains higher amounts of THC (up to 30% or more with concentrates)
Intoxicating (It will get you high)
Only available for purchase in licensed medical or recreational marijuana dispensaries
The biggest distinction between hemp CBD and marijuana CBD is the level of THC they contain.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was officially removed from the list of Schedule I Substances, so long as it contained less than 0.3% THC.
Marijuana naturally contains lower levels of CBD than hemp. That being said, some strains of marijuana have been specially cultivated to contain higher levels of CBD than others. These specialty strains are typically what are used to produce CBD oil derived from marijuana.
CBD derived from marijuana that contains more than 0.3% THC is only fully legal in states that have passed recreational marijuana laws. In states with medical marijuana programs, the legality of marijuana-derived CBD varies according to state legislation.
CBD derived from hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC grown in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill is legal in all 50 states.
There’s a catch, though. Individual states make the final call on whether or not they choose to allow hemp-derived CBD.
While most states have welcomed the new changes, there are still a few exceptions.
CBD Laws by State 2020: Where is CBD Legal?
The question of legality of CBD is a big one that can become quite confusing depending on who you ask.
We’re going to do our best to clear up any confusion you might have about state-specific CBD laws.
Let’s start with the 2018 Farm Bill and how it affected CBD laws across the United States.
The passing of the Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived products (including CBD products).
These products must contain less than 0.3% THC. Any products containing over that limit are considered illegal and controlled substances.
While this made CBD products legal at the federal level, state governments still have the final say on how exactly these products can be cultivated, manufactured, and purchased within their state lines.
States Where CBD is “Illegal”
Currently there are three states where CBD is still “illegal.”
We put illegal in quotation marks because anyone in the beautiful United States knows they can pretty well easily and discreetly purchase CBD online from the comfort of their own home.
Still we always recommend checking with the local laws where you live. This article is not legal advice and you should always consult with a legal expert if you are in doubt.
By the way, the same goes for any cannabis product and your health. You should always consult a medical expert you TRUST if you have any doubts about using CBD products.
Anyway the problematic states include:
Is CBD legal in Idaho?
Idaho is a tricky state when it comes to CBD laws.
According to Idaho state law, in order for CBD to be legal, it must contain zero THC and be derived from five identified parts of the cannabis plant.
The “identified parts of the plant” include: (1) mature stalks, (2) fiber produced from the stalks, (3) oil or cake made from the seeds or the achene of the plant, (4) any other compound,manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of mature stalks, and (5) the sterilized seeds of the plant which is incapable of germination.
While Idaho state law recognizes that the “2018 Farm Bill removes certain hemp-derived products with a THC concentration of no more than 0.3%,” legislation maintains this does not generally legalize CBD.
This being said, children with intractable epilepsy in Idaho do have access to federally-approved Epidiolex, as part of an FDA-approved study.
For more information on Idaho CBD laws, click here to listen to a recent podcast regarding Idaho CBD laws.
Is CBD legal in Nebraska?
Technically, CBD is still illegal in Nebraska, but there’s hope on the horizon.
In May 2019, Nebraska state government passed a bill that decriminalized CBD.
While CBD is not listed as a controlled substance in Nebraska, in February 2019, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said, “CBD oil remains illegal under state law.”
In CBD legal in South Dakota?
South Dakota might just have the toughest CBD laws in the entire country.
Never mind that the 2018 Farm Bill essentially legalized hemp and hemp-derived products. In South Dakota, industrial hemp and all forms of CBD remain decidedly illegal.
In a March 2019 press release, South Dakota clarified its stance on CBD by stating the following:
“Current South Dakota law makes industrial hemp illegal and all forms of CBD oil illegal. The only exception is the prescription drug Epidiolex which was recognized by this year’s legislature as a controlled substance under SB 22. This action leaves any other use or possession of CBD oil as a violation of state law.”
While the stigma surrounding cannabis is slowly changing, it’s clear that not all states are on board with the use of CBD, despite the fact that it contains zero psychoactive properties.
Most states, however, have loosened up on cannabis laws and legalized CBD in some shape or form. But CBD laws can still vary from state-to-state. And that’s exactly what we’ll cover in more depth in just a moment.
Now that you have a better idea where CBD is illegal, let’s take a look at the states where CBD is legal!
States Where CBD is Legal
In the states that have legalized recreational and medical cannabis, both CBD hemp oil and marijuana derived CBD oil are legal and typically easily accessible.
States with current recreational and medical marijuana laws where CBD (whether from marijuana or hemp) is completely legal include:
- Washington DC
If you consume CBD and live in or have recently visited one of these states, you’re probably aware that CBD derived from both marijuana and hemp is easily accessible and available pretty much everywhere.
These are the states where anyone aged 18+ can legally purchase CBD hemp oil, as well as cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.
In the states above you have the choice to purchase both hemp derived and marijuana derived CBD.
The sky’s the limit. Find what works best for you.
States With Medical Marijuana Laws Where CBD Oil is Legal
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
If you live in one of these states, CBD hemp oil can be obtained without a medical marijuana prescription.
You can order it online or find it at one of the many CBD speciality stores, gas stations, tobacco stores, vape shops, head shops, and vitamin shops located everywhere.
If you are looking for the specific benefits and characteristics of CBD derived from marijuana, in the above states you will need to go through your state’s medical marijuana program for obtaining a medical marijuana patient card.
Fortunately, in most states it’s super easy to get your patient card for medical marijuana. Note that you must have a health condition deemed by your state’s program which qualifies you obtain medical cannabis.
If you want to obtain medical cannabis, just follow the instructions for your state and you will be at your dispensary picking your customized products in no time!
States Where CBD is Legal with Certain Exceptions
There are also states where CBD is legal but have laws that can vary considerably.
These are the states where CBD laws have been passed but where it can still prove difficult to get approval for use. These states and their various rules governing CBD include:
Is CBD Legal in Alabama?
In Alabama, Leni’s Law (HB 61) was signed into effect on May 4, 2016.
This bill has made CBD legal for individuals suffering from a debilitating medical condition that causes seizures for which they are currently receiving treatment.
Anyone else interested in using CBD oil in Alabama must be part of a state-run clinical trial that studies CBD’s effects.
Is CBD Legal in Georgia?
In Georgia, CBD oil is available by prescription only and is permitted for specific serious debilitating and degenerative medical conditions including cancer, seizure disorders, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and more.
Patients are allowed to possess up to 20 ounces of CBD oil that does not contain more than 5% THC.
The amount of CBD in the oil must equal or be greater than the amount of THC it contains.
Live in the Peach State and want to know more about Georgia CBD law? Click here for more information from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).
Is CBD Legal in Iowa?
In Iowa, CBD is available medically for individuals suffering from specific medical conditions such as cancer, seizures, HIV/AIDS, Chron’s disease, severe or chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
To access CBD in Iowa, patients must have a “written certification” signed by a health care practitioner that states the patient has an approved debilitating medical condition.
Individuals interested in CBD in Iowa must also be approved for a medical cannabidiol registration card. For more information on CBD laws in Iowa, click here.
Is CBD Legal in Kansas?
Despite its close proximity to cannabis friendly Colorado, Kansas doesn’t exactly have the most liberal laws when it comes to CBD.
While CBD is permitted to be used and sold in Kansas under SB 282, which was signed into law in May 2018, it cannot contain any traces of THC.
In 2019, HB 2244 was signed into law, permitting the use of CBD that contains up to 5% THC to treat “debilitating medical conditions,” which means “a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, including one that produces seizures, for which the patient is under treatment by a licensed physician.”
Is CBD Legal in Kentucky?
While Kentucky ranked amongst the top five states in the US for hemp cultivation in 2018, state laws governing CBD still trail far behind several other states in the nation.
Yes, CBD is legal but according to SB 124, only when CBD is “transferred, dispensed, or administered pursuant to the written order of a physician practicing at a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a Kentucky public university having a college or school of medicine” (or) used by people “participating in a clinical trial or in an expanded access program.”
Is CBD Legal in Mississippi?
In 2014, CBD products containing more than 15% CBD and less than 0.5% THC were approved under HB 1231.
According to the bill, the CBD “must be obtained from or tested by the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi and dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.”
Under HB 1231, CBD oil may only be obtained by the order of a physician licensed to practice in Mississippi and administered to the patient under the direction or supervision of the said physician.
In 2017, SB 2610 was approved, which amended current state CBD laws to “clarify use in research of seizures and other medical conditions.” It also allowed for pharmacies to dispense CBD per approval of federal and state regulation.
Is CBD Legal in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, CBD oil is legal as long as it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.
In February 2018, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that it will be taking the same approach to CBD as the FDA.
What exactly does this mean?
Per FDA law, CBD in North Carolina cannot be added to food or beverages or supplements. CBD manufacturers are also forbidden to make unregulated health claims.
In October 2019, North Carolina lawmakers came to an agreement that CBD flower (also referred to as smokable hemp) will be banned beginning June 2020.
Under the recently passed law, smokable hemp is defined as “harvested raw or dried hemp plant material, including hemp buds or hemp flowers, hemp cigars and hemp cigarettes.”
While SB 315 does allow the production of hemp products, such as CBD oil, it does maintain that “’hemp product’ does not include smokable hemp.”
Is CBD Legal in Oklahoma?
In May 2019, Oklahoma signed SB 238 into law decriminalizing hemp-derived CBD.
Before the bill was passed, CBD was only technically legal through Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program despite being widely available throughout the state.
According to the bill, “Retail sales of industrial hemp and hemp products may be conducted without a license so long as the products and the hemp used in the products were grown and cultivated legally in this state or another state or jurisdiction and meet the same or substantially the same requirements for processing hemp products or growing hemp.”
In 2015, marijuana-derived CBD was approved in Oklahoma for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy in children.
In May 2017, the bill was modified to include marijuana-derived CBD legal for adults with epilepsy, as well as for conditions of “spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or due to paraplegia, intractable nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation with chronic wasting diseases.”
In 2018, medical marijuana laws were passed in Oklahoma, which should make marijuana-derived CBD available to medical marijuana patients at licensed dispensaries statewide.
In Oklahoma, CBD derived hemp from is legal per federal law.
Is CBD Legal in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, CBD is only legal for individuals with a written prescription from a physician that states “the patient has been diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, also known as ‘severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy’, or any other severe form of epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies and the physician’s conclusion that the patient might benefit from the medical use of cannabidiol.”
CBD oil in South Carolina must contain more than 15% CBD and less than 0.9% THC.
Is CBD Legal in South Dakota?
As of March 2017, CBD law in South Dakota only permits for the use of CBD products that have been approved by the FDA.
So far, the only FDA-approved CBD is Epidiolex, used in the treatment of two rare and intractable forms of epilepsy, known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Is CBD Legal in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, under HB 2144, patients can possess CBD that contains no more than 0.9% THC only if they have a “legal order or recommendation” for themselves or an immediate family member have been diagnosed with epilepsy by a Tennessee physician.
CBD oil must be acquired outside the state of Tennessee.
It is a misdemeanor charge if an individual is found in possession of CBD without proof it was legally obtained outside the state.
Is CBD Legal in Virginia?
Virginia’s CBD laws were updated in 2018 from the single qualifying condition of intractable epilepsy to include any diagnosed condition by a licensed physician.
In 2019, HB 1839 was passed, calling to “exclude hemp products” that contain less than 0.3% THC under the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Virginia is a state where the legality of CBD is still in somewhat of a gray area, something that will undoubtedly begin to change as CBD regulations become more concrete.
Is CBD Legal in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, CBD was made legal for those with seizure disorders in 2014. In 2017, SB 10 was passed in Wisconsin, replacing “seizure disorders” to “medical condition.”
Wisconsin is another state with confusing CBD laws.
Although SB 10 was passed in 2017, there are no provisions that legalize the production or distribution of products that contain CBD.
You will, however, find CBD increasingly available in various shops throughout the state.
This is because CBD’s legal status conflicts with Wisconsin hemp laws — something that has led to Wisconsin Attorney General, Josh Kaul, to recommend law enforcement not to enforce laws as they’re written.
The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill led a few states to change their stance on CBD.
States where CBD is now legal, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC now also include Texas and Wyoming.
Final Thoughts on Current CBD Laws in 2020
To quickly recap, CBD is now legal at the federal level.
Individual states, however, have the jurisdiction to decide whether or not they want to legally allow CBD.
To date, there are only three states in which CBD remains illegal, including Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
In some states, you’ll find CBD everywhere from gas stations and convenience stores to high-end retail boutiques and health food stores.
In other states with more restrictive laws, CBD might be a bit more difficult to find.
Be that as it may, we rarely hear of anyone having issues ordering CBD hemp oil online from trusted retailers.
Note: This guide 2020 CBD laws is accurate at the time of publishing. Laws regarding CBD and cannabis can change quickly, as we’ve seen in recent years with the rapidly increasing popularity of CBD.
If you’re interested in CBD laws for your particular state, we recommend checking with your state’s government website to see if any changes have occurred.
Also make sure to check back here at CBD School where we always keep you up to date on the latest cannabis, CBD, and hemp news.
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