Currently, anyone proposing to plant, grow, harvest, process, or sell industrial hemp in Massachusetts must apply for a license through the MDAR. Massachusetts tests all crops prior to harvest to ensure THC levels are less than 0.3%.
Even though the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD, it also left room for states to independently regulate its production and sale. Massachusetts has strict rules surrounding hemp-derived CBD legality. Under current laws, CBD oil cannot be added to any food or beverage products. It also can’t be marketed as having any medical or therapeutic benefits unless the product has been evaluated and approved by the FDA.
The 2018 Farm Bill also retained the power of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)to regulate CBD’s therapeutic claims, labeling, and its use as a food additive. The FDA maintains its stance that even hemp-derived CBD may not be used as an additive to food and beverages or marketed as a dietary supplement. The FDA also has yet to revise its rules or specifically regulate CBD products, which has led to confusion about CBD legality. The FDA has been particularly strict on CBD regulations when it comes to health claims that could be construed as medical advice.
Licensing requirements for CBD
The sale of hemp-derived CBD products at retailers is currently prohibited in Massachusetts, although many retailers continue to make them available for purchase. Marijuana-derived CBD is for sale at state dispensaries. Purchasing from a retailer allows consumers to interact with the retailer and get any questions about the product answered prior to making a purchase.
Though hemp strains don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, all varieties of cannabis, including help, were considered federally illegal under the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. Under that legislation, all cannabis fell under Schedule 1, which defines cannabis as a controlled substance with no accepted medical use, a high potential for abuse, and a likelihood for addiction.
CBD oil usually comes with a dropper to allow consumers and patients to measure out their dose. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp cultivation federally legal, paving the way for the legalization of hemp-derived CBD products nationwide, although a gray area remains for cannabidiol (CBD) legality. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Massachusetts Department of Health prohibit the sale of food or products containing hemp-derived CBD that makes therapeutic or medicinal claims. However, in June 2019, Bill H4001 was introduced in the Massachusetts House of Representatives but stalled in committee, in an effort to clear up confusion surrounding CBD legality in Massachusetts. The act reclassified ingestible CBD as a food product and allowed CBD oil in cosmetic and personal care products.
However, there are two major types of CBD, and they are treated slightly differently under the law.
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Is CBD Legal in Massachusetts?
Don’t be afraid to take your time when searching for a reliable CBD source. There are a lot of fakes out there who are trying to make an easy dollar off of uneducated customers.
As long as you have your medical marijuana ID on your person, you’re legally allowed to transport 10 ounces at any one time.
Your best chance of finding local CBD is by heading down to your local vape shop. If they don’t sell it over the counter, they should be able to point you in the direction of a local supplier.
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Although CBD and THC both have possible medical benefits, CBD is available off the shelf, while THC products are often available only through licensed distrbutors, or to those with a medical permit. The reason is because CBD has very few possible risks, while the intoxicating effets of THC put it in a higher risk class.
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