Cannabis has had quite a rocky start in the United States. Several states banned the herb used in the 1920s and it wasn’t till the 1970s that regulators started opening up to the medical benefits of this magic herb to roll out nationwide medical programs. It took time for CBD to be recognized as a medicinal agent and the landscape has changed substantially as we inch toward a new decade.
Recently a bill has been passed by the federal government differentiating two types of cannabis – hemp, and marijuana. The bill has argued that the hemp variant doesn’t produce a psychoactive high similar to its close cousin marijuana. This is the reason behind the removal of hemp from the list of restricted substances thus offering open access to people for the first time in a span of 80 years.
The CBD landscape is changing continually and each state is coming up with laws in response to this federal change. Today we will take a detailed look at the state-wise CBD laws so that you develop a clear idea of whether you can purchase and consume cannabinoids safely and legally.
While cannabis plants contain a higher level of THC, hemp has higher amounts of CBD. It is imperative to note here that THC is the main intoxicating psychoactive compound found in cannabis which causes its users to experience a high. Various studies have hinted at different benefits of CBD consumption like mitigating depression, relieving pain, alleviating anxiety symptoms, and protecting from neurological diseases. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even approved a prescription drug called Epidiolex containing CBD for the prevention of seizures.
Irrespective of these inherent benefits, the legality of CBD remains a gray area filled with controversies. At a federal level, cannabis-derived CBD is treated as a Schedule 1 substance that is highly illegal. However, CBD derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC as per dry weight isn’t illegal as hemp isn’t a controlled substance. Selling CBD products that aren’t FDA-approved is also illegal as per the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Once a substance is used as the main ingredient in a new drug that has been authorized for clinical trials or approved, other food and beverages listing the same as an active ingredient cannot be introduced into interstate commerce.
This drug exclusion rule adds to the complexity of the situation as the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex has eliminated the chances of producing and selling any CBD-containing food or beverages. Since CBD is commonly used in foods and drink items like juices and lattes, the federal status of the same depends on the type of the product and its source.
• Alabama – Since Alabama follows the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD sourced from hemp with 0.3% or less THC is deemed legal. A medical cannabis license is required for any amount above the legal limit. Industrial hemp is not considered a controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) allowing companies to create hemp cloth, fuel, paper, and other goods.
• Alaska – Both hemp and marijuana-derived oil are legal in Alaska. However, the state’s government doesn’t treat both these products equally. Following the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD has received the legal green signal on a federal level. No state bill has been introduced since then for regulating hemp-derived CBD within the state’s borders but currently, Alaska is supporting legislation to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp on the state’s soil. There are no legal restraints for the sales and possession of hemp CBD oil which can be bought both online and over the counter from brick-and-mortar stores.
• Arizona – The Arizona State Legislature and Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp provided its THC count doesn’t exceed 0.3%. Residents in Arizona can buy hemp-derived CBD products without their doctor’s prescription provided its THC limit is within the permissible grounds.
• Arkansas – Hemp-derived CBD is fully legal in Arkansas since it falls under the purview of the 2018 Farm Bill. You can easily buy them over-the-counter as long as the THC count is less than 0.3%. A doctor’s recommendation is required for marijuana-derived CBD oil with more than 0.3% THC.
• California – Both hemp and marijuana-derived CBD sources are legal in California. However, the current federal laws prohibit the usage of hemp-derived CBD in foods and beverages. Edibles containing CBD sourced from industrial hemp are prohibited by the state but marijuana-derived CBD edibles can be used for recreational and medical purposes. Prescriptions or doctors’ recommendations aren’t required for buying hemp or marijuana-derived CBD oil.
• Colorado – Hemp CBD oil with trace amounts of THC can be bought online or through brick-and-mortar stores without a prescription. Marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2012 for both recreational and medical purposes. Thus, you can buy marijuana-derived CBD oil by submitting valid age proof and an MMJ card or doctor’s recommendation.
• Connecticut – There is no restriction on the sale, possession, and transportation of hemp-based products in Connecticut. You can buy CBD oil without any medical prescription provided the THC count is less than 0.3%. The in-state medical marijuana program of Connecticut allows the use of marijuana CBD oil by patients suffering from different illnesses and health conditions provided they have valid registration certifications.
• Delaware – All hemp-derived CBD products have become completely legal in Delaware following the Farm Bill of 2018. Medical marijuana is legal for patients having a written certification from a doctor and an identification card.
• District of Columbia – Hemp CBD products with only trace levels of THC produced by a manufacturing company falling under 7607 of the 2018 Farm Bill is legal in the District of Columbia. For buying marijuana CBD oil, you will require a medical marijuana card and can purchase from state-licensed dispensaries.
• Florida – Florida residents can purchase hemp-derived CBD oil with a THC count of less than 0.3%. Recreational marijuana is considered illegal in Florida and you need to possess a medical marijuana card to purchase CBD oil with a higher THC count from state-licensed dispensaries.
• Georgia – Hemp-derived cannabidiol is perfectly legal and you won’t require any form of permission to buy it. Georgia allows people to buy, sell, possess, consume, and transport CBD hemp oil without any legal repercussions. Marijuana was legalized by the state only for medical reasons and it can contain up to 5% THC. However, Georgia’s authorities don’t allow in-state cultivation of medicinal marijuana and you might have to travel to states like California or Colorado to buy a bottle of marijuana CBD oil. You might be arrested for violating Federal law by doing this as cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug in Georgia.
• Hawaii – CBD oil is legal as long as it is sourced from hemp with less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana-derived CBD is regulated and you need to present a medical marijuana card for getting the same.
• Idaho – Idaho is among the strictest states when it comes to CBD laws. CBD oil with zero THC level is legal in Idaho. This conventional law on CBD use is stricter than the 2018 Farm Bill. Marijuana is treated under the same category as substances like heroin, meth, and LSD making it completely illegal whether for recreational or medicinal purposes.
• Illinois – Though marijuana is used only for medical purposes in Illinois, CBD oil from hemp is perfectly legal. However, the recreational use of the cannabis plant remains illegal and state law prohibits patients to grow their plants. Rather, they need to be bought from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
• Indiana – Indiana follows strict policies when it comes to the sale and possession of marijuana. This makes marijuana-derived CBD oil illegal in the state. However, hemp-derived CBD oil is fully legal in Indiana under the 2018 Farm Bill provided they have less than 0.3% THC.
• Iowa – The state follows the 2018 Farm Bill which legalizes hemp-derived CBD oil with 0.3% THC. Marijuana is currently illegal in Iowa except for medical use in a few limited cases.
• Kansas – CBD oil is legal in Kansas provided it has zero THC. Thus, only isolate-based and broad-spectrum CBD supplements are approved by state law. While Senate Bill 282 removed CBD from the list of controlled substances, it didn’t allow for any THC in the CBD supplements. It’s illegal to possess marijuana-derived CBD oil with 5% THC in Kansas unless you are a patient suffering from severe disease.
• Kentucky –The sale and possession of marijuana are illegal in Kentucky. Hence marijuana-derived CBD oil is banned here whether for medical or recreational reasons. Though Kentucky has zero tolerance towards marijuana, hemp-derived cannabidiol is legal following the provisions of the 2018 farm Bill provided the products have less than 0.3% THC.
• Louisiana – Hemp-derived CBD oils can be legally purchased in Louisiana provided the product doesn’t contain more than 0.3% delta-9 THC. It is illegal to possess marijuana-derived CBD oils in Louisiana without a doctor’s recommendation given the high levels of THC. It is imperative to note here that the government doesn’t separate Cannabis with 1% and 15% or 30% THC and treats all of them as marijuana.
• Maine – CBD is legal in Maine irrespective of whether it is sourced from hemp or marijuana. However, medical marijuana is only accessible to patients with debilitating health problems.
• Maryland - Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC making it legal in Maryland. Marijuana, on the other hand, is approved only for medical reasons and under some restrictions. Recreational usage of marijuana-derived CBD oil isn’t permitted in Maryland.
• Massachusetts – CBD oil is legal in Massachusetts irrespective of whether it is derived from marijuana or hemp. However, only the medicinal use of marijuana-derived CBD oil is permitted and its recreational use is considered illegal.
• Michigan - Medical marijuana was legalized in Michigan in 2008 and this allowed the use of marijuana-derived CBD products having high THC count. CBD extracted from hemp and marijuana is both legal in the state. Michigan residents don’t need to provide any recommendation, prescription, or doctor’s letter to buy hemp-derived CBD oil.
• Minnesota – Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in Minnesota and marijuana-based products can be used under some restrictions for medical reasons only. Recreational use of marijuana is banned in the state.
• Mississippi – Although the recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Mississippi, a medical patient with intractable epilepsy or catastrophic seizure disorder can get marijuana-derived CBD oil. However, CBD oil should contain at least 15% CBD and no more than 0.5% of psychoactive THC. Hemp-derived CBD oil has been legalized in Mississippi following the 2018 Farm Bill.
• Missouri – Both medical and recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Missouri. However, you can legally purchase hemp-based products following the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized the farming and manufacturing of industrial hemp on a federal level unless stated otherwise by in-state laws.
• Montana – Recreational marijuana is banned in Montana but its medical use has been legalized since 2004. However, you need to be diagnosed by a licensed physician for specified health conditions to legally buy medical marijuana. You can legally purchase hemp-derived CBD oil in Montana provided it contains less than 0.3% of THC.
• Nebraska – CBD derived from hemp is legal in Nebraska provided it contains 0.3% or less Delta-9 THC on dry-weight. You can buy CBD hemp oil either online or at local stores. Marijuana is illegal in Nebraska whether for recreational or medical use.
• Nevada – Both medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal in Nevada. The residents of “Silver State” can purchase marijuana CBD oil without any doctor’s prescription. The state follows the 2018 Farm Bill when it comes to consuming and possessing hemp-derived CBD oil. You can legally purchase hemp CBD oil in Nevada’s soil if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
• New Hampshire – Medical marijuana has been legalized in New Hampshire since 2013 and you can purchase CBD oil derived from marijuana provided you can submit an MMJ card. Licensed doctors can supply the same to their patients and they don’t need to visit dispensaries. Hemp-derived CBD oil is also legal in the state as it falls under the 2018 Farm Bill.
• New Jersey – CBD is sourced both from hemp and marijuana plants and both these sources are legal in New Jersey. You won’t require any physician’s prescription or recommendation to purchase hemp-derived CBD oil in New Jersey and there isn’t any upper possession limit provided the THC level is below 0.3%. For marijuana-derived CBD, you will require a recommendation from an authorized physician or a medical marijuana prescription to buy CBD products with a higher THC count.
• New Mexico – Though the recreational use of marijuana is banned in the state, it can be used for medical purposes if you have a medical card and qualify as a patient under the 15 specified health conditions. Hemp-based products, on the other hand, can be freely purchased without any prescription as it has been legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.
• New York – CBD is legal in New York as long as it contains 0.3% or less THC in dry weight. You can buy it from an organic food store, vape shop, or local pharmacy. Medical use of marijuana is permitted in New York but you may face legal prosecution if found consuming marijuana-derived products in public places.
• North Carolina – The recreational use of marijuana is illegal in North Carolina. However, the state has granted the right to some children to use hemp with THC levels below 0.9% and CBD levels of at least 5% to offer respite from untreatable epilepsy. The Agricultural Act of 2018 has made hemp-based products, including CBD oil, legal in the state.
• North Dakota – The recreational use of marijuana is punishable in North Dakota. However, the state legalized medical marijuana on 8th November 2016 allowing licensed medical dispensaries to be set up. Hemp-derived CBD oil has been legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill and comes under the same category as other hemp products.
• Ohio – Only hemp-derived CBD is legal in Ohio and the THC content of the products has a cut-off limit of 0.3%. Marijuana and its derivatives are prohibited for recreational use and only qualifying patients are eligible to get marijuana-derived CBD.
• Oklahoma – Oklahoma has recently hopped onto the bandwagon of states that have legalized the use of marijuana for medical reasons. However, the state has zero tolerance for the recreational use of marijuana. Hemp-based products are fully legal in Oklahoma.
• Oregon – Oregon is one of the pioneer states which legalized CBD sourced from both hemp and marijuana. CBD products can be bought both from online sellers and local dispensaries without any prescription requirements provided you are 21 years old. The hemp-derived product was made federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill which removed hemp from the list of controlled substances.
• Pennsylvania – The manufacture and use of medical marijuana for qualified patients have been legalized in Pennsylvania. However, the recreational use of marijuana-derived CBD is considered a misdemeanor which might lead to a hefty penalty or jail time. All hemp-derived products were legalized federally in 2018 following the Farm Bill and so you can legally purchase hemp-derived CBD oil without any prescription as it is considered a food supplement.
• Rhode Island – Medical marijuana has been legalized in Rhode Island since 2016. Patients can get marijuana-derived CBD oil from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries upon receiving a doctor’s recommendation. Though the recreational use of marijuana has been decriminalized, you might be charged a penalty similar to a parking ticket if found in possession of marijuana. Hemp-derived CBD is classified under the same category as food supplements and no state legislation has been enacted to regulate the same.
• South Carolina – The state of South Carolina has never been open-minded about laws regarding marijuana. It is illegal to use marijuana both for medical and recreational purposes in South Carolina. However, all hemp-derived products including CBD oil have been legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.
• South Dakota – Both medical and recreational use of marijuana-derived CBD is illegal in South Dakota. Though hemp-derived CBD stands in a legal gray area, you can find some at online stores and over the counter.
• Tennessee – Possession of marijuana-derived CBD oil is illegal in Tennessee and might be punishable by a fine or a year’s imprisonment. Hemp-derived CBD oil has been classified as a food supplement following the 2018 Farm bill.
• Texas - After the 2018 Farm Bill was signed, Texas also signed House Bill 1325, removing hemp from the list of controlled substances. Therefore, only hemp-derived CBD products must be purchased from licensed sellers. CBD is legal in Texas. However, it should come from hemp and not from marijuana. Hemp-derived CBD is legal for purchase, use, and travel in Texas.
• Utah – CBD extracted from both marijuana and hemp has been legalized in Utah since 2018. Though you can freely purchase hemp-derived CBD, a medical cannabis card is required for buying medical marijuana products.
• Vermont – Regardless of its source, CBD is fully legal in Vermont making this state one of the best places for cannabis users. Hemp was legalized by the US federal government in 2018 under the amended Farm Bill. Under the new act, hemp was removed from the list of controlled substances. You won’t face any difficulty in finding hemp-derived CBD oil in different pharmacies, dispensaries, organic food stores, and vape shops in Vermont.
• Virginia – The state’s law allows the usage of marijuana for medical purposes by patients suffering from untreatable epilepsy. However, marijuana-derived CBD oil should contain at least 15% CBD and a maximum of 5% THC. Contrary to marijuana CBD oil, hemp-derived ones are fully legal.
• Washington – You don’t have to worry about buying CBD oil in Washington State as both marijuana and hemp-derived oils are legal here. Marijuana CBD oil needs to be bought from a licensed source whether for recreational or medicinal purposes. Hemp CBD oil was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill and received further support from the SB 6206 legislature.
• West Virginia – CBD oil is legal in West Virginia provided it contains less than 0.3% THC. Medical marijuana was legalized in 2017 and the licensed dispensaries started selling marijuana-infused pills, edibles, patches, topicals, extracts, and oils in 2019, but no flowers. The recreational use of marijuana is still considered a crime punishable by imprisonment and a fine. Hemp-derived CBD oil has been made legal on a federal level following the 2018 Farm Bill.
• Wisconsin – If you are looking for hemp-derived CBD oil, then Wisconsin is the perfect place to be. You won’t have any problems tracking down decent stores selling CBD supplements. Marijuana-derived CBD oil is only allowed for medical marijuana patients suffering from specific conditions.
• Wyoming – The legality of CBD oil in Wyoming depends fully on its source. Here the cultivation, possession, and sale of cannabis for recreational or medical purposes are considered illegal. For legally buying CBD oil in Wyoming, you can opt for hemp-based products as hemp falls under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Once the Farm Bill was released, some states honored this change while others resisted enacting laws making the possession of non-psychoactive hemp plants illegal. Many states which weren’t cannabidiol friendly have made a switch over the last few months. We have listed up-to-date information on state-wise CBD laws for all 50 states so that you can have a clear picture of the entire scenario.