Is CBD Legal? State Laws and Restrictions

The cannabis plant has a long history in the United States. This means that laws, regulations, and social attitudes towards cannabis and hemp products such as CBD are equally gray and sometimes hard to navigate. United States laws regarding CBD have often been contradictory and complicated. As of late, however, legal and social standards are shifting, and with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill the future of CBD is looking bright. The complications surrounding CBD legalization often stems from the differences in federal and state laws. Frequently shifting policies surrounding medical marijuana and recreational marijuana make CBD that much more confusing. These policies have extensive effects on the proliferation and control of both hemp and THC latent cannabis.

What’s the Farm Bill of 2018?

In 2018 congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (A.K.A. Farm Bill). This forward-thinking bill removed hemp from the list of plants included in the Controlled Substances Act and increased opportunities for hemp’s large-scale cultivation. This overarching deregulation also stems to U.S. territories as well as Indian tribal nations. This shift moves the control of hemp regulations from the Drug Enforcement Administration over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Although the Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp, laws regarding the possession of hemp extracts are undefined. With the FDA now in control of all products that contain cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, they face the same regulatory guidelines as any food, cosmetic or dietary supplement. These rigorous rules fall under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act which date all the way back to 1938. Interestingly, the act solely applies to products being sold over state lines. Currently the FDA is still undecided about their stance on CBD as a dietary supplement or food additive and have deemed it illegal for interstate commerce. The decision is still under consideration, however, and the USDA will release its final hemp regulations by August 2019. With congress sitting on several more cannabis-related pieces of legislation these policies are guaranteed to change over the coming years.

Green States: Fully Legal on All Fronts

The following states have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana as long as individuals meet the minimum age requirement. These are states in which it is 100% legal to own CBD and there is very little, if any, gray areas. Individuals in Green States can enjoy the freedoms of purchasing and possessing any variety of cannabis products for personal use or wellness. The following Green States are:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

Amber States are states in which only medical marijuana has been fully legalized, meaning that you must obtain a medical marijuana card and a prescription from an approved doctor. On a larger scale, cannabis possession has been decriminalized meaning CBD possession shouldn’t be an issue either. The following are Amber States:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

Amber-Red States are states in which marijuana is not legal in any capacity with the exception of CBD products that have been approved for specific circumstances. If you live in an Amber-Red State and suffer from frequent seizures you should check with your local government to see if your condition would allow possession of CBD or if you can participate in a clinical trial that will allow you access to it. The following are Amber-Red States:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Red States do not allow cannabis possession under any circumstances. They are as follows:

  • Idaho
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota

There are, however, some exceptions -- even to Red States. In Idaho CBD extract is considered legal if it contains zero percent THC. Although CBD is still in FDA purgatory it is out-right legal to own as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. Even if you live in a Red State, attitudes towards CBD are progressively shifting. As more and more states lead the movement to legalize CBD oil and extract it’s likely that your state will soon follow suit.

With so many policies and laws regarding CBD possession it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We would suggest checking your local laws more in-depth before purchasing CBD products in order to exhibit the most precaution. We also suggest that individuals refrain from flying with CBD products as TSA standards may not have caught up with federal deregulation as of yet. If the product you’re carrying tests higher for 0.3% THC, you could be detained. Likewise, if you’re planning on taking a drug test soon we advise discounting the use of CBD as unfortunately, there aren’t any laws in place related to employers and cannabinoid discrimination.