While the laws on CBD’s legalities are loosening federally, in a select few states you can still be arrested and thrown in jail for having a bottle of CBD oil on you.
Although both types of cannabis are the exact same species (Cannabis sativa), they produce radically different cannabinoid profiles.
As a byproduct of this evolution, supplement companies now have access to hemp as a source of nutritional products — which now falls under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate as a nutritional supplement.
Cannabinoids are classified by their ability to interact with a specialized system of receptors and hormones in the body aptly named the endocannabinoid system. End– meaning “inside the body”. Conversely, cannabinoids that come from plants such as cannabis are called phyto-cannabinoids.
CBD is now available in all 50 states of America — to varying degrees. Most citizens can access the supplement in-store legally but may be hard-pressed to find it in some of the stricter states requiring medical cards.
Many in the cannabis industry claim that as long as the CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC, it is classified as hemp under federal law and is therefore legal to possess and distribute. (WTHR commissioned a lab test for Ndiaye’s CBD oil — it had 0.00% THC.)
The 2014 Farm Bill is often cited as evidence that CBD derived from industrial hemp is now legal. But the legislation legalized only a very narrow set of hemp cultivation activities: It is legal to grow hemp under a state pilot program or for academic research. It is also legal to cultivate under state law “in which such institution of higher education or state department of agriculture is located and such research occurs.”
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell announced last month that he would introduce a bill to legalize hemp on the federal level.
Mamadou Ndiaye was facing jail time and a $1,000 fine for marijuana possession. But Ndiaye possessed only CBD oil – a substance that was legalized by the state legislature last month. Thanks to the new CBD law, the prosecutor and judge both decided to dismiss the case.
Then, there’s HIA v. DEA – a lawsuit by a hemp trade association that challenges the agency’s classification of CBD as a Schedule I substance. Federal judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case earlier this year. Clearly, attorneys representing hemp businesses have a different interpretation of federal law than the DEA.
Even though Congress passed a bill legalizing hemp, and subsequently CBD, at the federal level, the hemp plant is still regulated, and some state laws conflict with federal laws, creating a gray legal area for CBD in America.
Early 20th Century: In the early 1900s, increased Mexican immigration to America introduced marijuana to locals, as they used it for calming and medicinal benefits. But the THC in marijuana produced psychoactive effects and, due to public health concerns, politics, and prejudice, all cannabis products, including hemp, became suspect.
These jurisdictions include Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Delaware, Arkansas, Idaho, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Louisiana, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Washington, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Gray Area States
All in all, hemp and CBD oil are considered federally legal in all 50 states. Anyone in the United States can legally buy CBD oil on health store shelves, some pet stores, and the internet. In light of this new legality, consumer sales for CBD products reached over $350 million in 2018. Best of all, you don’t need a prescription or medical card to buy CBD.
In spite of their differences, hemp and marijuana plants spent years being lumped together. In fact, before the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 , hemp had been illegal in the United States since the 1930s. So how did its legal status get so complicated? Here’s an overview of the history of cannabis in the United States.
These states don’t have explicit prohibitions regarding how industrial hemp-derived CBD products are sold. But recent pronouncements and law enforcement actions raise a bit of risk.
1937: The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed, banning the cultivation of marijuana and hemp in the United States, despite their varying effects and uses.