FDA officials are actively working to create federal regulations around CBD. After holding a highly publicized hearing earlier this year, their staffers have gone away to start crafting the regs. A first draft is expected in early 2020.
Here’s where it gets complicated.
Now that hemp is no longer a controlled substance, and CBD comes from hemp, all CBD must be legal, right? Not so fast.
Is CBD legal? Probably—but maybe not. It all depends on where you are.
As we wait for the FDA to release its proposed CBD rules, agency officials are reminding everyone that many of the CBD food and beverage products currently on the market are not technically legal. On June 16, the FDA released a document that said: “We are aware that there may be some products on the market that add CBD to a food or label CBD as a dietary supplement. Under federal law, it is currently illegal to market CBD this way.” At the same time, no federal agents are enforcing that particular law.
Once a compound has been approved as a drug, the FDA typically does not allow it to be sold in over-the-counter mainstream markets. But it’s currently being used most often as a dietary supplement, like vitamins.
Some local health departments, for example, may choose to prohibit the sale of CBD in food and beverage products in commercial establishments.
New Hampshire legalized medical marijuana in 2013 (HB 573) and established an industrial hemp pilot program in 2015. Recreational marijuana is still illegal in New Hampshire.
In this guide, we’ve provided a recap of the current legislation on CBD, organized by state. But first, we review the history of CBD legislation in the U.S.
Marijuana has been legalized for both medical and recreational use in Washington. Under Washington state law, any CBD products with 0.3% THC or less are not defined as marijuana or considered controlled substances.
It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when hemp and marijuana weren’t criminalized. Many early American farmers grew hemp, and not all of them were using it to get high. Industrial hemp has wide-ranging applications as an agricultural commodity. Commercial hemp can be grown as a seed and a fiber, and it’s used in a variety of products, including cosmetics, textiles, paper, and construction materials.
Fairly quickly, hemp production began to blossom. As of June 2018, U.S. hemp products make about $700 million in sales annually. Even more promising, researchers are finding new use cases for hemp, such as its potential for a biofuel or animal feed.
Along with Idaho and Nebraska, South Dakota has the strictest laws on cannabis in the country. Possession of just 2 ounces or less is a misdemeanor with up to a 1 year prison sentence and a $2,000 fine. The state doesn’t have a medical marijuana program or an industrial hemp pilot program.
Medical marijuana recently became legalized in West Virginia under the Medical Cannabis Act (SB 386). The state launched its industrial hemp pilot program in 2016. Marijuana for recreational use is still illegal in West Virginia.