What The Farm Bill Means For Your State
The following is a brief overview of the legal status of CBD oil across the United States of America. The states are divided into three categories based on both the general climate of the hemp industry within the state as well as the standing legality of the product based on state legislature. It is a common misconception that after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill CBD and industrial hemp are now legal in all 50 states. While it is true that both are legal at the federal level, many states are still struggling to update their pilot programs and expand access. Others are grappling with the concept of legal industrial hemp and have not yet legally defined it as separate from marijuana. Remember, states cannot give individuals more rights than the federal government, but they can limit or monitor those rights as they see fit.
The good news is that across the U.S. there is steady forward momentum in the hemp industry. It should be noted that the following is a brief description of what still remains as a very new and complicated legal issue. This overview does not account for every issue that might arise throughout the industry in an individual state, but serves as a condensed version of the most pertinent laws and overall hemp culture in each state.
Despite the lack of clear legislative action legalizing industrial hemp and CBD, a notice issued by the Attorney General, Steve Marshall, makes the product legal for distribution and possession in the state of Alabama.
Ever since the passage of the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act in 2017, CBD has been legal for sale so long as it abides by the federal description and the THC levels are below 0.3%. Arkansas requires growers to register in the state pilot program but distribution and sales are not limited in the same manner. Therefore purchasing online and shipping CBD into the state is legal too.
CBD has long been legal in this marijuana and hemp-friendly state. The good news for Colorado is that with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the state will not have to carefully regulate the hemp products in the same way they regulate marijuana. This expands the market and will hopefully encourage the cultivation of hemp and sale of its derivatives. In preparation for this vote, the Colorado state legislature passed Amendment X. This will enable lawmakers to easily adjust to changes in the federal government in order to ensure compliance.
While much of the attention in Georgia’s state law goes to their medical marijuana program, it has also been legal to purchase over the counter or online CBD oil since the enactment of the 2014 Farm Bill.
The main concern in Illinois is regulating the distribution of CBD in light of fraudulent sellers. While the Senate legalized the growth and use of industrial hemp and related products, the means of regulation are still under speculation. CBD is currently legal in Illinois so long as it abides by the parameters of the 2018 Farm Bill. Currently, the state is looking to the USDA to introduce a regulatory scheme for CBD oil and industrial hemp as a whole per the outline of the 2018 Farm Bill.
CBD oil was made legal for sale and distribution back in the summer of 2018 when governor Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act 52. This act states that there is no regulation so long as the CBD oil falls under the threshold of having 0.3% THC.
Following a raid on a locally owned CBD shop the state legislature fixed their error by removing CBD oil from the state’s definition of marijuana. This means that CBD is legal in the state of Kansas so long as it contains zero THC. This is more restrictive than the federal benchmark of 0.3%, but still entirely possible when CBD is made from industrial hemp.
Home of Mitch McConnell, the 2018 Farm Bill champion, Kentucky became the first state to lay out a comprehensive plan for growth, sale, and regulation of industrial hemp and its derivatives.
The hemp industry booms in Maine. The state has offered no legislation to limit or stunt any of the federal government’s work to legalize hemp and CBD oil but rather encourages growth and distribution of both. Maine focuses its regulation on marijuana which is legal under certain perimeters within the state. Nevertheless, so long as it is CBD oil it is legal regardless of the origin.
After the passage of Public Act 642 in 2018 the status of CBD in Michigan is legal so long as it abides by the federal benchmark for THC levels and comes from industrial hemp. This act separated the formerly synonymous status of hemp and marijuana from one another allowing individuals to purchase and distribute hemp products without a registration card.
Over the counter or online purchasing of CBD is legal in the state of Nevada. Since 2008 the state has actively tried to be a front runner in the marijuana and hemp industry. Senate Bill 305 and their cooperation with federal Farm Bill 2014 and now 2018 have paved the way for this hemp-friendly state to experience great success in the industrial hemp industry.
The North Carolina Hemp Commission provided a clear set of guidelines for consumers and farmers participating in the pilot programs. These guidelines are almost identical to the legal definitions of industrial hemp and CBD oil found in the 2018 Farm Bill. Under these stipulations, CBD is legal within the state of North Carolina for common use. In order to acquire CBD with a higher THC level, more stringent requirements must be met.
The state of Oregon has taken an active role in lobbying for the FDA to approve more brands of CBD. They understand that such approval is vital to their fast-growing hemp industry. As a national leader in said industry, Oregon has extensive rules and regulations for the cultivation and harvesting of industrial hemp which are all easily accessible via their Department of Agriculture.
Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued a statement announcing the legality of industrial hemp and all derivatives. The website outlines a fairly comprehensive regulatory scheme with no limits to the number of licenses the Department may issue growers. Additionally, there is no limitation placed on the purchase or shipment of CBD so long as it abides by federal guidelines.
The state legislature of Rhode Island has remained largely quiet concerning CBD laws. Their stance regarding medical marijuana and cooperation with the 2014 Farm Bill lead to a plausible likelihood of compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill as well. As CBD distributors and consumers stand now in Rhode Island, so long as the CBD is derived from industrial hemp there is no law against the cultivation or use of the product.
Tennessee Farmers took an active role in the state pilot programs initiated by the 2014 Farm Bill. In light of Senate Bill 2495 and House Bill 2445 and 2032, Tennessee is well on its way to establishing a workable legal and societal structure for the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp. As it stands, so long as the CBD is made from industrial hemp and following the federal guidelines, it is legal in Tennessee.
Prior to the Federal Government removing hemp from the prevue of the DEA, Utah had already taken that step by introducing regulatory measures to ensure the safety of the product sold throughout the state. While the legal status of CBD hangs in the balance (waiting on FDA and USDA regulation) the state of Utah has pledged to not penalize or pursue action against individuals or distributors who are using or promoting the product.
Another state that took full advantage of the industrial hemp pilot program, the farmers in Vermont have experienced great success with the plant. They issued a statement promising to fulfill all of the suggestions outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill by early 2019. However, that won’t change much for this hemp-friendly state.
CBD is legal under the definition provided by the federal government in the 2018 Farm Bill. Virginia expresses a commitment to implementing a program through their Department of Agriculture that aligns with the hemp amendment and supports Virginia’s existing hemp industry as best as possible.
Throughout 2018, law enforcement in this state were under strict orders to not seize CBD product so long as it was created using legal industrial hemp from the state’s pilot program. District Attorney Schimel clarified the stance of Wisconsin as being in line with the federal law. Given the recent change following the 2018 Farm Bill, Wisconsin can be expected to abide by Federal law stating law enforcement cannot seize or punish product shipped over state lines.
The following states either have unclear laws regarding CBD and industrial hemp or have not moved past the hemp pilot program enacted through the 2014 Farm Bill. This does not mean that CBD is illegal, it simply means that the laws are a little more complicated. With the growing popularity of the product and the massive strides across the rest of the country, it is likely these states will soon become hemp-friendly as well.
Here, the law regarding CBD use and distribution is somewhat convoluted until the USDA and the state of Alaska set up a new regulatory scheme in line with the 2018 Farm Bill. However, much of the confusion comes from CBD being included in the Controlled Substance Act. Thankfully, this is in no way applicable in 2019 since CBD was removed from the prevue of that Act following the 2018 Farm Bill passage. Most states including Alaska seem to have stalled legal action until they develop a means of regulating CBD given its large scale of distribution and popularity.
Despite its long-standing support of legalized marijuana, the status of CBD in California has been troubled in the past by definitions lacking in FDA clarity. The state has continuously listed CBD oil as food which it is not and therefore due to regulatory mishaps it has been illegal. Thankfully, this error will soon be corrected with the introduction of Assembly Bill 228. Thereby removing it from the prevue of dispensaries and allowing it in retail stores.
Despite the fact that this state took a while to implement a full-fledged state pilot program for growing industrial hemp, Connecticut has tried to ensure the legal usage and access to industrial hemp by removing it from the definition of marijuana as early as 2015. It is expected to create and implement a new plan for the growth and distribution of industrial hemp that expands the pilot program to catch the state up with the current federal ruling.
Delaware allows for medical marijuana but unfortunately does not distinguish between CBD and marijuana despite the last two farm bills and several federal courts having done so. This complicates the legal status. While it is technically legal you must have a registration card which is impractical for most consumers since it is so easily accessible through the internet and in retail stores where medical marijuana is not. There is currently a pending bill that proposes supporting any CBD approved by the FDA, however, it has not passed and the FDA has only approved one brand of CBD oil.
District of Columbia:
The District of Columbia abides strictly by the 2014 Farm Bill and the mandatory state piloted programs. However, this does indicate a commitment to abiding by federal guidelines. Therefore, the fact that law enforcement is not actively seeking out the source of CBD or enacting any type of penalty on its users in conjuncture with the 2018 Farm Bill’s interstate guidelines for CBD, indicates safe online purchase and distribution.
Once again confusion between industrial hemp/CBD products and marijuana have led to products being seized and growing concern amongst consumers. Thankfully the state legislature is seeking to remedy that this current legislative cycle with HB 333. This bill will update Florida’s law to reflect changes at the federal level.
This state has left the description of industrial hemp and it’s derivatives entirely up to the Federal Government. This means that in Hawaii CBD is completely legal so long as it abides by the state pilot program source rule. Until Hawaii creates a new program under the latest bill it will remain like this for farmers, but people shipping CBD into Hawaii will most likely not face any resistance given the states marijuana laws and their agreement to cooperate with the Federal Government on this issue.
CBD and the future for industrial hemp are hopeful but unknown in Iowa. Farmers and distributors within the state look to this year’s legislature to enact a program. Iowa is one of 11 states to have not done so. Hopefully, this will be the year following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that Iowa legalizes and establishes perameters for the growing hemp business.
Maryland falls behind most states in that they have only this year begun implementing a hemp pilot program. Industrial hemp is not currently allowed for commercial growth but there is not stated interested in penalizing the distribution and sale of hemp derivatives such as CBD oil.
This state took the opportunity of the 2014 Farm Bill’s pilot program to create and implement a fairly exhaustive regulatory system for the growth of industrial hemp. Therefore, the hemp culture both in farming and retail closely resembles the ideals of the 2018 Farm Bill. As a result, CBD oil is legal in Massachusetts and the state should not have to alter much about their current system to comply with federal guidelines.
The Board of Pharmacy promised not to act against the sale and distribution of CBD oil until the legal status became clear at the federal level. Given this report and the content of the 2018 Farm Bill, there is high hope in the state of Minnesota that the current murky status of CBD oil and industrial hemp will be rectified at the state level. It is currently, for all intents and purposes, a legal substance.
Another state that enacted its own state pilot programs prior to the 2014 Farm Bill, Montana has a relatively long history of cultivating industrial hemp. Farmers must qualify and participate in the state pilot programs in order to grow the crop. For the industry as a whole, however, CBD is legal to purchase, sell, possess, and ship into Montana so long as it is derived from industrial hemp per the federal government’s definition.
Since 2013 New Hampshire has been building their hemp pilot program making it legal to distribute and purchase CBD oil as long as it was derived from industrial hemp. There are different regulations for marijuana-derived CBD oil within the state. This distinction is an important indicator for the states understanding of the market and their commitment to abiding by federal law as outlined in the 2018 and 2014 Farm Bills.
They pledged in 2018 to legalize and promote hemp in full cooperation with the federal government. They have laid out no plan or legal means of abiding by that promise. Nevertheless, such a statement at least assures residence of the state that there will be no punitive measures taken against the possession or distribution of CBD oil since it was made federally legal by the latest Farm Bill.
Being marijuana friendly sometimes has disadvantages in states such as New Mexico. The state has not drawn proper boundaries between CBD derived from industrial hemp and other marijuana products. The ban of CBD not grown in New Mexico being sold in dispensaries but not in retail stores demonstrates this confusion. However, the good news for distributors is that the Department of Agriculture in New Mexico is working to create a regulatory system in line with the 2018 Farm Bill. For out-of-state distributors this looks like it will mean applying for a license following protocol. However, there is no reported action against CBD users or distributors.
While CBD is allowed in the state of New York following the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, it falls under heavy restriction. CBD cannot be marketed as a food, vapor, or edible and all distributors must acknowledge their current standing with the FDA. Considering that these limitations came after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, it is likely that New York is attempting to predict future FDA requirements. Nevertheless, this has caused some growing concern and economic difficulty for retailers.
The Department of Agriculture in this state clearly abides by whatever the most current Farm Bill stipulates. They had a state pilot program and are currently creating a new program to include the more expensive and inclusive ruling of the 2018 Farm Bill. However, city-to-city there is still some confusion regarding the legality of the substance. This is due to shortcomings of local law enforcement, however, not state policy.
The state has passed legislation allowing patients to be prescribed CBD oil for certain illnesses. However, without a solid framework for the legality of CBD in Oklahoma, it is only assumed that individuals should order CBD from elsewhere or buy it without clear regulation in-state. Despite the fact that CBD is not technically legal for all in Oklahoma, the lack of law enforcement on the issue points to tolerance by the state and hopeful changes in legislation that will align Oklahoma with federal law.
This state runs a very strict industrial hemp pilot program. They currently only issue 40 licenses per year to cultivate the crop. From a retail standpoint, they offer two means of acquiring CBD: one must hold a medical prescription to buy CBD with trace elements of THC or one may purchase CBD with 0% THC. The state has had issues with regulation of CBD oil in the past.
Due to the changes in the language from the 2014 Farm Bill to the 2018 Farm Bill the state of Washington is currently revamping their hemp pilot program to include the newly legal status of CBD oil. Previously, CBD oil could still be considered a controlled substance and not necessarily included in the pilot program. Due to recent changes Washington is working to update its laws to reflect the federal legality of CBD.
While West Virginia has an active hemp cultivation program, the legal status of CBD has not been fully updated to reflect the latest federal laws. The Board of Pharmacy still does not allow CBD un-approved by the FDA to be sold in pharmacies. However, the retail of the product has not reportedly been punished or treated as criminal behavior.
These nine states have failed to update their laws in a way that reflects the industrial market or the federal law. It is important to note for individuals distributing CBD in these states that the emerging industrial hemp market is often confusing for lawmakers. Therefore, the spirit of these laws limiting the use of CBD stems from a confusion with marijuana which is still federally illegal and not out of legitimate fear of CBD or hemp.
There is no doubt over the next year, as CBD’s popularity continues in the United States, these legislatures will quickly create a set of regulations that work for their individual states. Until then, the 2018 Farm Bill protects companies shipping their product across state lines. As stated in the 2018 Farm Bill; “Nothing in the act prohibits the interstate commerce of hemp, nor can States or Tribes prohibit transportation of hemp or hemp products through their territory.”
Arizona abides strictly by the 2014 industrial hemp pilot programs and only legalizes CBD garnered from such sources. This does indicate a propensity to follow federal law, but, as of now, the status of CBD in Arizona has the potential to be tied up in legalese regarding the source.
Despite the use of CBD throughout the state, Idaho’s government still includes CBD in the state definition of marijuana making the substance illegal under state law. Individuals who have epilepsy and a doctor’s note for FDA-approved CBD may consume it but other than this limited usage it is not permitted. Users of CBD do, however, have a case to challenge this policy. The federal law and previous court cases drawing stark lines between industrial hemp, CBD oil, and marijuana make it hard for the Idaho policy to have much legal footing.
This state draws no distinction between CBD and marijuana regardless of the source of the CBD (industrial hemp or otherwise). It is, therefore, illegal to purchase or sell CBD in Louisiana. While the action against those who violate this law is currently focused on education they may update this to more punitive measures if the educational campaign fails.
While many resources tout the legality of industrial hemp across all states in light of the past two Farm Bills, Mississippi does not see the issue so clearly. CBD oil is legal but only in a very limited number of cases under the “Grace Harper Act” or HB 302. Only individuals with certain illnesses may have legal access to the substance. The state never implemented a state pilot program as the majority of states did following passage of the 2014 Farm Bill so it will be interesting to see how they align themselves with the latest from Washington, if they do so at all.
The state of Missouri has implemented a state pilot program beginning in 2019 to replace their hemp registration program that ran prior to the 2018 Farm Bill. They have outlined a tentative transition plan on their Department of Agriculture’s website, as well as promised to cooperate with the direction of federal government regarding hemp. The state is listed as problematic because while there has not been any indication that they are acting in a way that would inhibit stores or individuals from participating in the hemp industry, it is currently unclear as to what the pilot program will mean for consumers.
While this state does have an industrial hemp pilot program, any non-FDA approved CBD is still considered illegal according to the Attorney General’s interpretation of the law. This does not allow for interstate sales which are not addressed by the memo. While possession is still considered illegal it is unclear how this measure will be enforced if at all.
The state of Ohio has legalized medical marijuana but that is not necessarily good news for hemp. In order to regulate the use of marijuana within the state of Ohio, the legislature established a Pharmacy Advisory board that oversees the use of all products derived from the marijuana plant. This oversight extends to CBD products. In a memorandum to clarify their policies, the Board expressed a commitment to cooperation with Federal law. While it is uncertain what the Federal law will become once the latest Farm bill is passed, the language of Farm bill 2014 still links CBD with medical marijuana.
The Health and Human Services Committee is currently reviewing a bill to roll back the harsh scheduling of CBD in South Dakota. Under existing law, CBD oil is considered illegal in the state. While this is hurting local businesses, there is no reported crackdown on CBD shipped into the state which is arguably protected by the 2018 Farm Bill.
CBD is currently illegal in Texas according to the written law. However, as state lawmakers quickly seek to remedy this fact, the Attorney General and the Department of Agriculture have agreed to turn a blind eye to the consumption of CBD derived from industrial hemp. Lawmakers should have a legislative answer to the 2018 Farm Bill by the end of the current legislative session. Insiders promise big steps forward for the hemp industry in the Lone Star State.
This state enacts a zero tolerance THC policy that outlaws any CBD containing detectable amounts of THC. The only cases in which Wyoming allows for possession of CBD per the federal definition are individuals who have a hemp registration card. Reports show about nine of these cards have been granted throughout the state. Despite the involvement of the DCI throughout Wyoming, hemp has been removed from the controlled substance list and industrial hemp has arguably never been under the authority of criminal drug agencies. This, in conjunction with the thriving hemp/CBD culture in Wyoming points to a hopeful and much brighter hemp future as Wyoming aligns itself with federal law and the favorable national hemp culture.