Is CBD Legal In Every U.S. State?

By Josh Hall

CBD oil has become an increasingly popular aid for a wide range of health conditions. Many individuals use this cannabis plant extract to relieve chronic pain, alleviate anxiety and depression, reduce seizures, and more. And yet, there are others who are hesitant to partake of CBD oil, and for a simple reason: They have questions about its legality. In this article, we’ll answer the question “Is CBD oil legal?” and touch on the legal status of CBD products in all 50 states.

Background on hemp legalization

The history of hemp might surprise you. For example, did you know it’s one of the original crops grown in the American colonies, and that even Founding Fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were in the hemp business?

Hemp remained a popular crop until 1937, when Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. This effectively began the era of hemp prohibition, and was accompanied by a robust anti-marijuana propaganda campaign.

Then came World War II and the Hemp for Victory Fund, in which the USDA actively encouraged farmers to grow hemp products for use in the war effort. For a few short years, the hemp business was booming again. But, as soon as the war ended, the government quickly shuttered all the hemp production facilities. The era of prohibition returned.

For a long time, hemp was legally indistinct from marijuana itself, meaning that cannabinoids of all kinds, even those without psychoactive effects, were effectively outlawed. Agricultural hemp was finally legalized through various pieces of legislation, first in 2014 and then on a more widespread basis in 2018.

As for CBD, it’s currently legal at the federal level so long as the amounts purchased don’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC. It’s crucial to note, however, that different states may have their own restrictions on CBD products. That’s what we’ll explore on a state-by-state basis. But first, let’s discuss the legality of traveling with CBD.

Is it legal to travel with CBD?

A question many people have comes from concerns related to flying with CBD products.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) acknowledges that medical marijuana, and certain CBD products, may be allowed in carry-on bags and checked bags. However, such products must comply with the 0.3 percent THC rule, or else have full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities,” the agency states.

TSA agents do not actively search for medical cannabis or CBD products; however, if they happen to discover it in the course of their other duties, they may refer the matter to local police or to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Why do some CBD brands only ship to certain states?

As you’ve probably figured out by now, CBD is a tricky product to master. And when it comes to marketing and selling CBD products across the country, it can be difficult to get everything 100% in-line with various state standards. Because of this, there are some CBD brands on the market that may forgo the formalities and decide not ship to all 50 states — despite the fact that CBD is legal on a federal level.

State-by-state breakdown of CBD legality

It’s helpful to know some of the federal laws and stipulations about CBD oil, but what matters most is the legal status on a state-by-state basis. Here’s a complete guide to whether or not CBD is legal in your neck of the woods.

Alabama. According to Attorney General Steve Marshall, CBD can be legally produced, sold, and possessed within Alabama’s borders as long as the product is derived from industrial hemp, with a THC concentration of no more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Alaska. Alaska is one of a few states in the country where marijuana is fully legal on both a medical and recreational basis. As such, using CBD is no problem at all.

Arizona. Arizona law does not specifically reference “CBD” products, but the Senate Bill 1098 passed in May of 2018 goes in-depth on industrial hemp and its production. Subtle language within the bill, such as the definition of industrial hemp, provides the assumption that any hemp-derivative (such as CBD oil) that contains no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight is allowable.

Arkansas. Arkansas is another state that’s legalized medical marijuana, including CBD products that contain less than 0.3 percent THC. The Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act of 2017 made CBD oil legal, and it’s risen in popularity since then.

California. California is one of the states where cannabis products are fully legal, both for medical use and also for recreational use.

Colorado. In Colorado, marijuana is permitted for both medical and recreational use. CBD is considered to be an “industrial hemp” product. Local laws define legal CBD products in this way: “[A] plant of the genus Cannabis and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3 percent THC) on a dry weight basis.”

Connecticut. Since May 2019, hemp-derived CBD is no longer viewed as a controlled substance according to Senate Bill 893. CBD products are readily available to the general public as long as the product is derived from hemp plants grown legally, and contain no more than 0.3 percent THC by weight.

Delaware. Delaware is another state where marijuana is legal when used for medicinal purposes, but hemp-derived CBD products are readily available throughout the state as well. Delaware laws do not specifically reference CBD, but the state allows for the cultivation of hemp plants and has proven to be unconcerned with enforcing any restrictions on CBD products.

Florida. CBD products are legal in Florida, though there are a number of regulations about how stores can package and promote their CBD products.

Georgia. As of May 2109, CBD products with 0.3 percent THC or less are legal in the state of Georgia following the passage of House Bill 213.

Hawaii. In Hawaii, there are a number of retailers that sell CBD products, which are deemed legal as long as they meet federal guidelines (i.e. do not exceed 0.3 percent THC content). However, it is illegal to sell or distribute CBD-infused foods, beverages, or cosmetics within the state.

Idaho. In the State of Idaho, CBD is only legal if it contains zero THC, and if it does not meet any of the state’s formal criteria for “marijuana” classification. To avoid this classification, the CBD product “must be derived or produced from (a) mature stalks of the plant, (b) fiber produced from the stalks, (c) oil or cake made from the seeds or the achene of such plant, (d) any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, or (e) the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.”

Illinois. CBD is totally legal in Illinois, thanks to the passage of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. This legalized recreational marijuana use as of January 2020.

Indiana. Indiana allows for CBD products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, and that are at least 5 percent CBD. Additional legislation, passed in 2018, permits the use of certain hemp extracts, including those that are “(1) derived from Cannabis sativa L. that meets the definition of industrial hemp; (2) that contains not more than 0.3% delta-9-THC (including precursors); and (3) that contains no other controlled substances.”

Iowa. As of 2020, Iowa permits the use of CBD products, assuming they comply with federal guidelines (including less than 0.3 percent THC).

Kansas. In Kansas, it’s legal to buy CBD so long as it doesn’t contain any THC. Additionally, CBD containing no more than 5 percent THC may be legal when used for the treatment of certain medical conditions.

Kentucky. Since 2014, Kentucky has permitted CBD, so long as it does not contain more than 0.3 percent THC.

Louisiana. In Louisiana, hemp and CBD products are allowed so long as they do not contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Additionally, CBD is banned from use in commercial food or drink products.

Maine. Cannabis is legal in Maine, both for medical and recreational use.

Maryland. Maryland permits the use of hemp and CBD products so long as they comply with federal guidelines (no more than 0.3 percent THC).

Massachusetts. Massachusetts is a state in which marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use.

Michigan. Michigan is a state in which cannabis (and therefore any CBD product) is legal, both for medical use and for recreational use.

Minnesota. As of 2020, Minnesota has allowed for the sale of CBD products, so long as they meet certain stipulations in their labeling and promotion.

Mississippi. As one of the more restricted states when it comes to cannabis, CBD products are legal in Mississippi as of July, 2019. According to HB 1547, these CBD products must have a minimum ratio of 20:1 CBD:THC, and diluted to contain at least 50 milligrams of CBD per milliliter, with not more than 2.5 milligrams of THC per milliliter.

Missouri. Since the passage of the Farm Bill in 2014, hemp-derived CBD products are considered legal in Missouri, as long as they do not contain more than 0.3% THC.

Montana. Montana allows for medical marijuana use, which includes certain CBD products. Although also allows the general public to procure products like CBD oils, salves, and tinctures, but it does not allow for the sale of foods or beverages that contain CBD.

Nebraska. Nebraska allows for the sale and use of “hemp,” but not “marijauana.” The 0.3 percent THC threshold serves as the distinction between these two categories.

Nevada. Cannabis use is legal in Nevada, both medically and recreationally.

New Hampshire. In this state, the legislature put forth by the passing of the 2014 Farm Bill has not been contradicted by any in-state laws, which means that CBD oil is legal in New Hampshire as long as the hemp extract abides by federally regulations.

New Jersey. New Jersey allows cannabis use for those enrolled in its medical marijuana program. For those not in the program, CBD is legal only if it contains less than 0.3 percent THC.

New Mexico. New Mexico permits marijuana-derived CBD within its medical marijuana program, and hemp-derived CBD for the general public. Once again, the 0.3 percent THC threshold distinguishes between these two categories.

New York. In New York, marijuana-derived CBD oils are allowed to those enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program. Others may purchase CBD that has 0.3 percent THC or less. New York does not allow for the sale of edible CBD products.

North Carolina. North Carolina courts have ruled that CBD products containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are to be considered commercial products, rather than controlled substances. As such, they are legal.

North Dakota. In North Dakota, CBD products are legal so long as they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Higher concentrations of THC may be allowed if they are procured from a licensed dispensary, and with an authorized prescription.

Ohio. The State of Ohio currently allows for the sale and use of CBD so long as the total THC content is no more than 0.3 percent.

Oklahoma. Hemp-derived cannabidiol products (those containing no more than 0.3 percent THC) have been legal in Oklahoma since 2018, thanks to the passage of the Oklahoma Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.

Oregon. Oregon is one of the states in which marijuana and CBD products are legal for both recreational use and for medical purposes.

Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, there has been a medical marijuana program since 2016. And, hemp-based products are legal for sale and use throughout the state.

Rhode Island. Rhode Island allows for the same and use of CBD oils that have 0.3 percent THC or less. This includes not only concentrates and extracts, but also foods made with CBD.

South Carolina. South Carolinians were previously allowed to use CBD products in compliance with “Julian’s Law,” which allows for CBD of 0.9 percent THC or less, and more than 15 percent cannabidiol. Although the law only allowed CBD use for the treatment of certain medical conditions. More recently, the industrial hemp farming program for South Carolina was enacted in 2016, which apparently made it legal for citizens to purchase CBD as long as it is derived from industrial hemp plants with negligible amounts (no more than 0.3 percent) of THC.

South Dakota. In South Dakota, CBD oils are legal so long as the THC makeup is 0.3 percent or less.

Tennessee. CBD products are legal in Tennessee as long as they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC content.

Texas. Texas residents may partake of CBD oils so long as they are made with no more than 0.3 percent THC, per legislation signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott.

Utah. As of 2018, Utah has allowed for the use of CBD products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.

Vermont. In Vermont, CBD products as well as marijuana are permitted for both recreational and medical use.

Virginia. CBD definitely lies within a legal gray area in this state, but CBD products are considered legal if they are derived from hemp plants that are grown within the state of Virginia, and do not exceed the legal limit of allowable THC.

Washington. Cannabis products including those containing CBD are legal in Washington, both for recreational and medicinal use.

West Virginia. West Virginia allows for CBD that’s derived from hemp, and contains no more than 1 percent THC. Additional marijuana products may be allowable under the state’s medical marijuana program.

Wisconsin. In 2014, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law a provision allowing CBD use for those with seizures. Since then, the law has been broadened to reflect a wider range of medical conditions. More recently still, the state has legalized CBD products that contain little or no THC.

Wyoming. In Wyoming, the only CBD products that are legally permitted are those derived from hemp, containing no more than 0.3 percent THC.

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