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Is CBD Legal in 2020?


— July 23, 2020

CBD is federally legal across all the states of the US. However, one must consult their state laws before buying or possessing CBD products.


The history of CBD is as interesting as it is complicated in the US. People have been using CBD as a natural medicine since time immemorial and yet this magical compound remained banned or illegal to use for several decades.

The sad part is that many people aren’t even aware of the true definition of CBD, which is a popular acronym of cannabidiol, a natural compound found in the cannabis plant and extracted via industrialised hemp or marijuana. Most people still think of it as marijuana or THC, when CBD is totally opposite of it.

While Hemp was crossed from the list of controlled substances in 1937, it took a long stretch of time to remove CBD from the said list. But what is the real status of the legality of CBD in all 50 states across the country? This article will help you figure out the same.

Why do people use so much CBD these days?

To begin with, CBD is non-psychoactive in nature. This means that it will not produce a high in your body or get you stoned. The reason behind the same is that CBD contains almost nil amount of THC, which is the prime reason why you feel high after smoking marijuana or hashish.

The main reason why people are so obsessed with using CBD products like CBD creams, gummies etc., these days is because of CBD’s therapeutic qualities. Over the last few years, there have been several anecdotes and limited studies that have directed the extraordinary ability of CBD to relieve people. Consumers reckon that CBD-infused products like CBD Gummies are not only tasty but are also convenient to consume and have helped them in reducing anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Similarly CBD Creams can be an easy replacement for their regular creams while helping with joint or muscle pain.

Even the World Health Organization has cleared CBD from having any potential for abuse or tolerance. Still, the legal status of CBD in the US is quite confusing in 2020. So, let’s throw some light on it.

Legal history of CBD legislation in the US

The history of CBD and other compounds really goes back in time. Thus, it is important for us to learn about their brief history. 

However, before we learn about the acts, we need to understand that there has been no proper guideline on how to market hemp and CBD apart from CBD being sold as a drug since FDA has classified it so. For this very reason, many sellers of CBD are selling low quality and contaminated products in the name of ‘drug.’ It is thus important to deal with this problem. Therefore for now, consumers need to do their own due diligence and read detailed reviews like this CBDistillery review by The Cannabis Radar.

In the words of FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn, “The Agency is working toward creating new CBD regulations.” He added further, “We’re not going to be able to say you can’t use these products. It’s a fool’s errand to even approach that. We have to be open to the fact that there might be some value to these products, and certainly Americans think that’s the case. But we want to get them information to make the right decisions.”

Controlled Substances Act, 1970

The act passed by the federal government classified hemp (CBD) as a Schedule I drug, yes, along with heroin, which seemed a bit too much.

2014 Farm Bill

Hemp was finally legalized under this Bill. Under section 7606, hemp is defined as Cannabis Sattiva containing less than 0.3% THC. Hemp was thus legalized for research and agriculture purposes. Since then, sale and production of industrial hemp has increased drastically.

2018 Farm Bill

The academic and state-run programs went so far in proving the value of hemp and CBD to the world that The Hemp Farming Act, 2018 was passed by the US government. The Act was included in the Farm Bill, officially referred to as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

Under the Act, hemp was defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

This means that any industrial hemp product is now legal on a federal level all across the US. Fortunately, this includes CBD-infused products as well. And yes, CBD has been excluded from the list of Controlled Substances as well.

What about state laws?

The 2018 Farm Bill gives the states an upper hand to allow or restrict the production and sales of hemp products. The laws in your state regarding CBD can thus vary depending on the intended use of CBD along with the place from where it’s sourced.

Currently, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Idaho are three states where CBD is completely banned or illegal. However, children of Idaho can have legal access to CBD under certain conditions.

For the rest, CBD can be divided under two categories –

1. Fully-legal states – In these states, you can purchase, possess, and consume hemp-derived CBD. One can find CBD-infused products in both offline and online stores. These states have embraced the rules established by the 2018 Farm Bill. The following states come under this category –

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • The District of Columbia
  • Vermont
  • Washington

2. Conditionally-legal states – In these states, one can buy CBD under certain conditions. For example, Minnesota will require you to have a doctor’s prescription or medical cannabis card to purchase the same from a store. It is recommended to buy CBD from online stores, if you live in any of these conditionally-legal states-

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Additionally, there are certain states where CBD-derived from marijuana is legal as well, either for recreational or medical use. Check them out below-

Recreational Use:

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

Medical Use:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington, DC
  • West Virginia

What about the future?

Federally speaking, you can buy CBD in any of the 50 states of the country. However, as mentioned above, there are several loopholes or conditions to buy and possess CBD, depending on the state you live in.

Marijuana leaf on wooden surface, with a brown bottle and eyedropper on the leaf; image by CBD-Infos-Com, via Pixabay.com.
Marijuana leaf on wooden surface, with a brown bottle and eyedropper on the leaf; image by CBD-Infos-Com, via Pixabay.com.

For now, it is recommended to buy CBD online and have the same delivered to your home, office, or place of residence. As more people are becoming aware of the benefits of CBD and other compounds, it is expected for the laws to change in near future and give more relaxation to certain states.

Another thing to add here is that the CBD market has finally been regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, we are yet to receive an official statement from the authorities along with the confirmation, whether or not they support the sale and production of CBD.

Conclusion

We hope this article brought some kind of clarity to you. The summary of the whole article is that CBD is federally legal across all the states of the US. However, one must consult their state laws before buying or possessing CBD products. Also, at the time of buying any CBD product, it is necessary to check the quality of the same. So, always remember to buy CBD from a reputed company that carries a certificate of analysis and whose products are lab-tested by a third party.

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