The Legal Status of CBD in the USA (2019)
Are you confused whether CBD is legal in the United States? What about your home state? Well, industry lawyers say:
- If the CBD product is from HEMP then YES, it is 100% legal to use and own anywhere in the United States.
- If the CBD product comes from any other plant then the answer becomes less clear…
That is the quick answer. Owning, using, and buying CBD online is 100% LEGAL anywhere in the United States if the product is made from hemp. All Daddy Burt Hemp Co. CBD products are made from hemp. If you still have other legal questions about CBD, this article simplifies the confusing legal status of CBD by reviewing the popular questions. We are not lawyers, so we are not giving legal advice. Instead, we are compiling information from across the country so people can make sense of their own legal questions.
Note: The information on our website and any other communication of Daddy Burt Hemp Co. is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.
What is CBD? Cannabidiol (commonly known as CBD) is one of the 80+ chemical compounds found in hemp plants. CBD has attracted interest in the health/wellness industry due to its potential for a wide range of health and wellness conditions.
The 2018 Farm Bill¹ differentiated hemp from other plants with cannabinoids based on their chemical makeup, specifically focusing on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). According to the 2018 Farm Bill, to be considered hemp, the plant is required to have less than 0.3% THC. If the plant includes more than 0.3% THC, it is considered an illegal substance in many states.
What does Federal Law Say About CBD?
On December 20, 2018, President Trump enacted the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill). This removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (1970) and officially recognized hemp as an agricultural crop. Therefore, regulation of the crop is under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rather than the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This is why industry lawyers claim it is legal to buy CBD and have it shipped anywhere in the United States.
However, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA²) released a recent statement reminding Americans of the FDA’s responsibility to oversee all dietary supplements, cosmetics, drugs, and foods. This includes products that contain CBD derived from hemp. In the statement, former FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb claimed “we recognize the potential opportunities that cannabinoids could offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities. We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under our authorities to lawfully market these types of products.” This simply means that the FDA is still developing its plan for how to regulate CBD products made from hemp.
Who Enforces CBD Laws across the United States?
The FDA enforces laws related to consumer CBD products and reserves the right² to regulate any food, drug, supplement, or cosmetic containing CBD. The United States Department of Agriculture is responsible for enforcing the laws of the plant and enforcement of hemp industrial applications.
Hemp-derived CBD is Different than CBD from other plants with high THC content
As you now know, the source of the CBD is an important factor in determining if it is legal federally. There is a legal difference between CBD made from hemp and CBD made from other plants. If the CBD is hemp-derived, like all Daddy Burt CBD products, then it is federally legal. If the CBD comes from a plant with more than 0.3% THC, then it is illegal on the federal level.
State by State Laws on CBD
While federal laws are clear for CBD from hemp and CBD from other THC high plants, individual states may have additional laws. The strictest states may prevent retail stores from selling CBD and local laboratories from producing it. But, even in the most strict states, you are allowed to use, own, and buy CBD online – as long as it is made from hemp.
We have written up a detailed legal review for Kentucky, where our headquarters, farms, processing, and shipping is located. For all other states, we recommend this website⁵ for their detailed overview of the state-level laws on CBD. Although the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD nationally, you are still required to follow your state-specific laws as well.
Can CBD be Delivered and Shipped to my State?
Jonathan Miller is the general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable⁶. He claims that he has never come across a case involving someone arrested for purchasing CBD from online stores. Therefore, CBD products can be delivered to you if the relevant FDA regulations are followed by the supplier. Daddy Burt’s CBD products can be bought online and shipped to anywhere in the United States. Our products follow FDA regulations and are processed in FDA-approved, food grade bottling facilities.
Due to state regulations, CBD may not be available for purchase in retails stores in some states. To deeply understand the legality of buying CBD products across border lines, you should refer to the legal status of the product at the federal and state levels.
CBD Court Cases, Legal Battles, & Stories
- A mother and her son were arrested on December 14, 2018, for running a CBD oil retail shop in Scotts Bluff County⁸, which violates Nebraska state regulations. The case was dismissed in January when Dave Eubanks, County Attorney General claimed that “his office has more pressing matters than prosecuting an oil that can’t get you high.”
- On January 31, 2019, NBC⁹ published an article on the case of a young man arrested for possession of CBD. While the man was traveling in Tarrant County (Texas), CBD oil was found by officers during a routine traffic check. The charge was eventually dismissed. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office reminded the public¹⁰ that his CBD oil was illegal unless someone complied with the Texas Compassionate Use Act. Despite this recent statement, a former Fort Worth law enforcer claimed that several of his colleagues in the police force are frequent customers at his CBD oil retail store. His sentiments were echoed by other retailers and CBD users who claimed: “We don’t care what the county district attorney says.” CBD is now much more available in Texas since state laws were passed allowing CBD from hemp in June 2019.
¹United States Congress. (2018, December). Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Conference report to accompany H.R. 2.
²Office of the Commissioner. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, December). Press Announcements – Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on signing of the Agriculture Improvement Act and the agency’s regulation of products containing c******* and c*******-derived compounds.
³Mexico Supreme Court says ban on recreational m******** unconstitutional. (2018, October). Reuters. Webpage.
⁴Berke, J. (2018, October). Canada has officially legalized m******** for all adults. Webpage.
⁵United States – State Info. (2019). NORML Foundation. Webpage.
⁶Miller, J. (2019) U.S. Hemp Roundtable.
⁷Felony CBD case won’t be prosecuted (2018, September). Star Tribune. Webpage.
⁸Earl, D. (2019, January). Nebraska prosecutors to drop case against mother and son who own CBD store. ABC News – KETV Omaha. Webpage.
⁹Friedman, S. & Douglas, J. (2019, January). Healing Power or a Dose of Trouble? CBD Oil Takes Law Enforcement By Surprise. NBC News – 5 FW. Webpage.
¹⁰Mitchell, M. (2019, February). ‘We don’t care what the district attorney says,’ CBD oil buyers in Tarrant County say. Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Webpage.