It wasn’t until recent years that marijuana regulation was revisited. The first changes were to support medicinal use and research. In 2014, then-President Barrack Obama passed the Agricultural Act of 2014. Section 7606 of the Act outlined the legal classification of hemp and allowed the use of industrial hemp for research purposes.
As a byproduct of this evolution, supplement companies now have access to hemp as a source of nutritional products — which now falls under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate as a nutritional supplement.
Not All Cannabis Products Are Created Equal
Already the landscape is changing, as the regulation of legal nutritional products now falls into the regulation of the FDA — who have yet to make any official statements for or against the sale and use of CBD as a nutritional supplement. People are suspecting an FDA crackdown coming to companies operating in the CBD space.
Now, as we inch our way towards a new decade, the landscape is much different.
Even the World Health Organization recently stated that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
In Vermont it’s legal, although when CBD is added to maple syrup it’s illegal to label the product “Pure Maple Syrup.” Ahh, Vermont.
In December 2018, President Trump signed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the 2018 farm bill) into law. That Act included a section removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis. The only difference is the federal government considers cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid, to be legally classified as “hemp.”
Here’s where it gets complicated.
Some local health departments, for example, may choose to prohibit the sale of CBD in food and beverage products in commercial establishments.
More specifically, the farm bill removed hemp and hemp derivatives from the definition of “marijuana” in the Controlled Substances Act. The new law also specifically tasked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with regulating hemp-derived food and drug products. (More on that below.)
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.
Now that hemp is no longer a controlled substance, and CBD can be extracted from hemp, all CBD must be legal, right? Not so fast.
Marijuana legality varies by state, as does CBD legality.
CBD must be legal on both the federal level and the state level in order for it to be legal in your state.
There are 17 states called that legalized both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana as long as you meet the minimum age requirement.
Is CBD Legal in the U.S.?
The following states have legalized CBD, some only for specific medical purposes:
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized, on the federal level, the regulated production of hemp, or any part of the cannabis plant with a THC concentration below 0.3%. States, however, have the final say in whether or not cannabis-derived products are legal within their state lines.
In addition to these states, sever other states have legalized medical marijuana:
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not get a user “high;” however, its legality is still a gray area for some people because it is derived from the cannabis plant.