Is CBD Oil Legal in California? We cover the legality of CBD in the state and laws that you need to be aware of before you buy. Learn about the current state of cannabis legislation in California as well as the impact of medical and recreational marijuana legalization on the state’s economy and crime rate. Find out more about the different types of cannabis licenses in California California has historically been one of the most progressive states when it comes to marijuana laws. Here’s where to buy CBD oil in Cali.
Is CBD oil legal in California?
California makes cannabis legal to possess and buy for adults 21 and older, and cannabidiol (CBD) oil products are widely available at dispensaries and over-the-counter at other retailers. However, state law prohibits CBD oil derived from hemp from being added to foods and drinks until the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines it is safe.
California is known as one of the most liberal states in the nation — and so it makes sense that it’s also been one of the strongest supporters of cannabis legalization. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana when it passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. And 20 years later, the state passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which legalized cannabis for recreational purposes.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is the second-most-abundant cannabinoid in the plant after THC. CBD is also purported to showl therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, seizure-suppressing, and anti-anxiety properties.
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
Hemp strains don’t produce enough of the cannabinoid THC to cause intoxication, but all types of cannabis, including hemp, were considered illegal under the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation swept all cannabis under the Schedule 1 umbrella, which defined cannabis as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation and created a clear pathway to remove some cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Under the new legislation, hemp is classified as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight, while marijuana is classified as cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC. As a result, hemp-derived CBD was descheduled by the bill, but because marijuana is categorized as a Schedule 1 substance, CBD that is derived from the marijuana plant is still considered federally illegal. While hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity under the 2018 Farm Bill, it still must be produced and sold under regulations that implement the bill. The USDA has yet to create these regulations.
New formulations of CBD allow the cannabinoid to be used in a variety of ways. Photo by: (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)
The Farm Bill also endowed the FDA with the ability to regulate CBD’s labeling, therapeutic claims, and presence in foods or drinks. Despite the Farm Bill’s passage, the FDA has issued a directive that no CBD, not even hemp-derived, may be added to food or beverages or marketed as a dietary supplement. As time passes, the FDA has begun re-evaluating that stance on CBD products but has yet to revise rules or specifically regulate CBD products. The FDA’s slow movement has created further confusion on the state level.
The FDA has historically been strict when it comes to health claims or content that could be understood as medical advice — and makes no exception for CBD.
Hemp production and sale, including its cannabinoids and CBD specifically, remain tightly regulated federally. The Farm Bill provides that individual states may also regulate and even prohibit CBD cultivation and commerce. States may attempt to regulate CBD in food, beverage, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently of the FDA’s rules.
California CBD laws
Currently, California’s definition of CBD is consistent with the federal definition. According to a letter issued by the Attorney General’s Office, “although California currently allows the manufacturing and sales of cannabis products (including edibles), the use of industrial hemp as the source of CBD to be added to food products is prohibited. Until the FDA rules that industrial hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD products can be used as a food or California makes a determination that they are safe to use for human and animal consumption, CBD products are not an approved food, food ingredient, food additive, or dietary supplement.”
After the 2018 Farm Bill passed, the state introduced AB 228, which would have clarified CBD legality and legalized hemp-derived CBD to be included in food, beverage, and cosmetics products without restrictions, but the bill was held. Until the bill is passed and signed by the governor, California’s laws surrounding hemp-derived CBD and CBD oil remain consistent with the FDA.
Licensing requirements for CBD
The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which authorized the commercial production of industrial hemp, went into effect in early 2017. The act, SB 566, authorizes the commercial production of industrial hemp in California and became effective on Jan. 1, 2017. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is developing a program to administer the new law.
CBD oil usually comes with a dropper to allow consumers and patients to measure out their dose. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
All growers of industrial hemp for commercial purposes must register with a county agricultural commissioner prior to cultivation. Registration applications are available on the CDFA Industrial Hemp Program web page. The annual registration fee is currently $900.
While the hemp program is still being developed by the CFDA, the California Department of Public Health has clear labeling regulations around cannabis products, which includes information regarding the products’ origins, expiration, ingredients and amounts of THC and CBD. Labels also may not contain any misleading information, make unproven health claims, or be designed in a way that is attractive to children.
Hemp growers must also submit samples for THC concentration testing no more than 30 days before harvest. Registrants must submit their registration number, name and contact information, anticipated harvest date, name of the seed cultivar(s), physical address, Global Positioning System coordinates, general description of the location, and acreage of the crop, and the name and contact information of the laboratory to conduct the testing for THC content.
Once that information is received, samples will be collected by the commissioner or an approved third-party for testing. All labs must have an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) / International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 17025 accreditation and use a validated method for total THC analysis. Any industrial hemp crop that doesn’t meet testing requirements will be destroyed.
California CBD possession limits
Currently, there are no clear possession limits on CBD oil in California.
Where to buy CBD in California
While hemp-derived CBD cannot be used in food, beverages, or dietary supplements in California, you can still find a variety of CBD products, including CBD oil, in both retail stores and online.
Because the manufacturing and sale of CBD products is still unregulated, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable source.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
Though California’s product label guidelines have been delineated, there remain some questions about how they apply to hemp-derived CBD products. It’s important to have the information necessary to make an informed decision about the ingredients, efficacy, and safety of the CBD products you purchase. Most reputable CBD producers will typically include the following information required by the California Department of Public Health on their CBD product labels:
Is CBD Oil Legal in California?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the active components of the cannabis plant. It is the second most predominant cannabinoid in cannabis and hemp after delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While cannabis and hemp are varieties of Cannabis sativa L., they have varying levels of cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Generally, cannabis has a higher concentration of THC than hemp. THC is the psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis that causes intoxication. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, and those found in medical cannabis are believed to be effective in treating a handful of health issues. Some of the medical benefits include the management of chronic pain and anxiety and also improving heart health. CBD is commonly used for cancer management, management of neurodegenerative disorders, management of mental health, and mood-related conditions. Some also believe that it promotes optimal skin health and boosts human immune function.
CBD exists in three forms, namely broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in cannabis plants except for THC, while full-spectrum CBD has all the components of cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC. CBD isolates contain purely CBD with no other compounds from cannabis plants, including THC. Widely used CBD products include edibles, topicals, capsules, oils and tinctures, and vape juices. Oils, tinctures, and vape juices are presented as CBD-infused liquids, while edibles come as ingestible CBD products. Topicals are typically ointments and are applied to the skin, while capsules are produced as CBD-containing pills.
The 2018 Farm Bill, commonly known as the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, removed CBD products and hemp from the federal list of controlled substances. The delisting changed the legality of CBD on the federal level. Consequently, under this Act, it is legal to produce, purchase, and use CBD products in the United States, provided they satisfy certain conditions. One of such conditions is that the CBD must be derived from hemp and must not contain more than 0.3% THC. In California, CBD is also legal. As such, residents can purchase and use products containing CBD.
Is CBD Oil Legal in California?
Yes. Assembly Bill (AB) 45, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in October 2021, legalized CBD in California. The state considers CBD oil sourced from hemp and cannabis as legal for medical and recreational uses. Before the enactment of AB 45, California prohibited infusing CBD derived from hemp in foods, beverages, and dietary supplements in compliance with federal laws regarding CBD. Although enforcement was not strict, it was illegal to produce, purchase, or use edibles containing hemp-derived CBD. The approval of this Bill now permits hemp-sourced CBD to be included in dietary supplements, foods, and beverages in California. The state’s marijuana laws allow edibles containing cannabis-derived CBD for recreational and medical purposes.
What are California CBD Laws in 2022?
Assembly Bill 45 is the most recent state law in California about legalizing and regulating CBD. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry sponsored this bill which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 6, 2021. This bill permits the cultivation of hemp intended for CBD production in California and its sale upon meticulous testing and the satisfaction of regulatory requirements.
AB 45 requires the California Department of Health (DPH) to develop regulations on the sale of CBD-based products within the state. While this might take some time, the DPH must prepare a report to the state legislature and governor on or before July 1, 2022, stating the required measures to allow the incorporation of hemp-sourced CBD into the cannabis supply chain. The bill prohibits the manufacture or sale of hemp products with more than 0.3% THC, in line with the 2018 Farm Bill. It requires all CBD-infused food and dietary supplement manufacturers to register with the DPH and demonstrate that the plant parts used in manufacturing are from a state that has already established an industrial hemp program.
AB 45 stipulates that dietary supplements, foods, and beverages produced and sold in California are not contaminated by including hemp-derived CBD once they meet the specified requirements. However, the bill forbids distributors, sellers, and manufacturers from misleading the public with false statements on product labels regarding the health benefits of consuming their CBD-based products. It equally prohibits the manufacture and sale of inhalable CBD products until the state enacts a tax on such products, except if they are intended for sale outside California.
What are California CBD Possession Limits?
Any person 21 years or older can possess CBD in California. However, as of November 2021, the state has no established possession limits on CBD oil or other CBD products. To use a cannabis-derived CBD oil in California, a person under 18 years requires a medical card. However, they need parental/legal guardian consent and a doctor’s recommendation to obtain such a card.
Can Doctors Prescribe CBD Oil in California?
Doctors can only recommend CBD oil or other CBD products (hemp or marijuana-derived) in California and cannot prescribe them despite being one of the states where medical marijuana is legal. Essentially, no one needs a doctor’s prescription to use any CBD products legally in the state. California treats CBD as a non-prescription medicine, and the state’s marijuana laws permit anyone of legal age to purchase and use it.
CBD oil has been proven to relieve chronic pains and symptoms of anxiety in California. Also, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-containing drug known as Epidiolex for treating certain seizures in the U.S. These include seizures associated with Dravet syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in medical patients who are at least one year old.
Do You Need a License to Sell CBD in California?
Currently, California does not require a license to sell CBD oil products, and anyone can buy them from any retail outlet within the state. However, the Department of Public Health (DPH) does not permit unlicensed retailers to sell foods, beverages, and dietary supplements containing CBD. California requires hemp growers and processors to obtain licenses to cultivate and produce hemp.
Senate Bill 153 mandates hemp growers to obtain the requisite license to farm hemp in the state and requires them to register with their counties’ agricultural commissioners. License applicants must provide their names, addresses, and other contact information during the application process. Growers can only use approved hemp cultivars to grow hemp. As such, SB 153 requires them to provide information on the cultivars they intend to use and where they will get the seeds. Senate Bill 566, otherwise known as the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, authorizes industrial hemp production. However, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is still developing a program to administer this Act, including licensing.
Distributors of CBD products in California must be aware of the state’s labeling rules regarding the products they sell. The labeling requirements for cannabis products advised by the California DPH in 2019 also apply to CBD products. Typically, a CBD product label in the state must have a primary panel and an informational panel. The primary panel holds the CBD product identity, net weight or volume, and the universal symbol for all cannabis products in California. The primary panel is usually seen on the display side of a CBD product. The informational panel is any other label on a CBD product that does not bear the product weight, identity, or the California-regulated cannabis universal symbol. The information displayed on this panel includes the date of packaging a CBD product for sale, the manufacturer’s or cultivator’s name and contact information, and the UID number. The Unique Identification Number (UID) is obtained via the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system. This panel also contains CBD content percentage, instruction for use and any preparation needed, allergens (if applicable), and government warning statements for cannabis products. The information on CBD products labels provides details on the content, safety, and potency of such products and helps users to make informed decisions when buying them.
In California, a CBD product label must not bear any image that can attract children or contain any false or misleading information. The label of an edible product containing CBD must not include a picture of the product. Also, no CBD product label must display unproven health claims, such as claims on the ability of such a product to treat medical conditions not corroborated by scientific agreement.
Where to Buy CBD in California?
In California, CBD oil and other CBD products are publicly available in vape shops, dispensaries, wellness centers, and most retail stores. However, buyers are encouraged to be careful and consider many factors before buying CBD oil or any product containing CBD in the state. When shopping for CBD products in California, buyers should always ask to see third-party lab results before making such purchases. Any credible CBD product manufacturer will provide reports that their products have the advertised level of CBD and are free of contaminants.
Generally, there are many unknown brands selling CBD oil and products with little or no CBD. As such, due diligence is essential when purchasing one. Californians can also shop for CBD products online. It gives them the chance to access a more comprehensive range of CBD products from different retailers.
Where to Buy CBD in California in 2022
California has historically been one of the most progressive states when it comes to marijuana laws.
If you live in this state, there are many options available to you for finding CBD both online and in-store.
As a general rule, it’s always better to purchase from a trustworthy online source rather than in-store.
6. All Cannabis Products Legal
Table of Contents
Where To Buy CBD Oil in California:
- Royal CBD Oil— Best CBD Oil Overall
- Gold Bee CBD Gummies— Best CBD Gummies
- CBDistillery THC-Free Pure CBD Oil— Best CBD Isolate Oil
- Industrial Hemp Farms— Best CBD Flower
- Honest Paws CBD Oil For Dogs— Best CBD Oil For Dogs
Is CBD Legal in California in 2022?
Yes, CBD is legal throughout the state of California.
CBD can be made both from flowering marijuana plants and industrial hemp. In 2018, the United States Federal Government passed the Farm Bill, which made industrial hemp an agricultural commodity.
Before the Farm Bill, the Government treated hemp as a Schedule 1 drug, along with the likes of heroin, LSD, and MDMA.
Today, all CBD oils are legal to buy, sell, and produce in California. However, marijuana-derived CBD falls under marijuana laws, so you need to pay attention to how much you have.
How to Buy CBD in California
Even though there are many valid places to buy CBD in California, you’ll save time and money by shopping online.
As the popularity of CBD continues to rise, more companies are trying to get their piece of the pie. Some of these companies are advertising CBD that contains heavy metals or pesticides. Others don’t contain any CBD at all!
CBD can come in many different forms, including tinctures, creams, capsules, vape oil, and even products for pets.
Here are a few tips that can help you find the best CBD that suits your needs.
- If a company is making claims that seem too good to be true, run in the opposite direction. CBD is a fantastic health supplement with many uses, but it doesn’t replace all of your other medications.
- Always make sure that a third-party lab has tested the products. Any credible company will be able to produce reports that their CBD products are free of any unwanted contaminants and contain the amount of CBD advertised.
- There are many ways of extracting CBD from an industrial hemp plant. CBD produced using CO2 extraction (which is heatless and solventless) retains most of the beneficial compounds found in industrial hemp. This method is more consistent compared with extraction via oil or ethanol.
If you follow the steps above, you will be able to find a quality product that suits your needs in no time.
Buying Online in California
Finding this information about products sold in-store can be time-consuming. The most reliable way to find quality CBD is through a trustworthy online store.
Shopping online allows you to research the different products quickly and ensure you are getting the most value for your money.
Online stores are often cheaper and faster than shopping in-store. Also, they usually have discounts and special offers that you would not find locally.
Although we recommend shopping online, California is an excellent place to be when it comes to purchasing CBD in person.
Local Stores in California
California has dispensaries everywhere; this is great if you are looking to pick up a little bit of weed for the afternoon. Nonetheless, finding a dependable source of CBD can be tricky.
There are hundreds of products on the market that contain little to no CBD, even though they advertise otherwise.
Always be sure you do your research before committing to a purchase. Don’t waste your hard-earned cash on a fake product. Follow the steps we listed above to be sure you are getting the real deal!
You may be able to find CBD locally in dispensaries, head shops, vape stores, and health supplement retail outlets.
Is Marijuana Legal in California in 2022?
Recreational and medicinal marijuana are legal in California.
The requirements to purchase marijuana in the state of California are simple. If you are 21 years of age or older and can produce a valid ID, you are good to go.
All you need to do is make your way to a local dispensary and pick up some bud for yourself. Just make sure you don’t have more than an ounce in your pockets, else you might draw some unwanted attention. However, laws can change, so stay updated by checking out the Department of Cannabis Control’s website for current information.
California has traditionally been one of the country’s leaders in reforming marijuana laws. In 1972, California became the first state to introduce a bill (Proposition 19) that would have legalized marijuana use.
Although Proposition 19 failed, it was a step in the right direction.
Just a few years later, in 1975, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana was decriminalized; this meant that simple possession was a civil offense rather than a criminal one.
In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 215 (otherwise known as the Compassionate Use Act) which made it the first state to legalize medical marijuana. If you were suffering from certain chronic illnesses, you were now able to get a doctor’s recommendation to treat yourself using medical marijuana.
To clarify the law regarding Proposition 215 and more clearly define patients and non-patients, the state passed Senate Bill 420 (appropriately named), which created an identification card system for medical marijuana.
This law also allowed non-profit organizations to provide medical marijuana to those with a patient identification card.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of California, he passed Senate Bill 1449, which further reduced the punishment of possession of less than an ounce to a $100 fine and no mandatory court date.
In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, which would legalize the use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. The law went into effect on January 1, 2018, making California the sixth state to legalize recreational marijuana use.
If you derive pleasure from gardening, feel free to enrich your plot with up to six marijuana plants, unless you’re participating in the state’s medical cannabis program.