This debate has been going on for quite awhile and there still appears to be some controversy on CBD and THC and what is legal in the States and what is not. You often see such statements as:
“BUY CBD FROM US. LEGAL NOW IN ALL 50 STATES!”
But is this true? You have to wonder if these statements are accurate when you see headlines such as the following:
Let’s back track a bit.
SOME MAIN DIFFERENCES
Hemp CBD vs Cannabis CBD – They are both members of the cannabis family. There are significant differences, the biggest is Cannabis CBD contains significant amounts of THC (12% on average) which is responsible for the ‘high’ or euphoria, while the Hemp CBD contains little to no THC (0.3% or less).
Medical Cannabis vs Recreational Cannabis – Medical marijuana uses the whole unprocessed plant which contains the psychoactive compound THC and is prescribed with various amounts of the THC ranging from very low to high and is used for a host of medical conditions. At present, the FDA does not approve or recognize the plant as a medicine.
Recreational marijuana is used for recreation as the name implies, is usually high in THC, and is used without medical approval.
HOW MANY STATES ARE THERE
There are 50 States (the United States also has sovereignty over 14 territories). Some people think there are 52. The District of Columbia is a federal district. The other area sometimes lumped in with the states is Puerto Rica. Puerto Ricans are by law citizens of the U.S. but as it is not a state, Puerto Rica does not have a vote in the United States Congress. Here, we will talk about the 50 states.
WHAT IS LEGAL
So to move on, let’s talk about Hemp CBD and THC and its legality in the States.
There are 16 states where the laws are specific – i.e. amount of THC in CBD products, and specific conditions for which they can be treated. In a lot of cases, patients must register or have ID cards. Since 2018, there have been some changes, for example, an extension of conditions allowed.
Conditions: Debilitating epileptic conditions, life-threatening seizures, wasting syndrome (muscle and fat tissue wasting away), chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, or any other condition resistant to conventional medicine
THC: Below 0.3%
UPDATE: On December 12, 2018: A public notice updated by the Alabama Attorney General states that CBD derived from hemp and containing no more than than 0.3% THC is legal to produce, sell and possess in Alabama. Epidiolex is now legal for a doctor to prescribe for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, to be regulated in the same way as any other prescription drug. CBD derived from Maijuana is still illegal under Alabama law, whether above or below 3% THC, except for the prescription drug Epidiolex.
Conditions: Near death stage of cancer, ALS, MS, seizures, Crohn’s, mitochondria disease, Parkinson’s disease, Sickle Cell disease
THC: Oils below 5% with an equal amount of CBD
UPDATE: $25 low THC oil Registry Cards are available to patients with the following conditions: Cancer, ALS, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Seizures, Crohn’s, Mitochondria Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Sickle Cell Disease, Tourette’s, Autism Spectrum Disorder (patient is 18 or older or patient is less than 18 and is diagnosed with severe autism), Epidermolysis Bullosa, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, Peripheral Neuropathy, Hospice Program Patients, Intractable Pain and PTSD (patient is at least 18 years old).
April 17, 2019: Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill allowing in-state production and sale of marijuana oil and allows growing licenses for up to six private Companies. This comes into effect on July 1, 2019.
Conditions: Resistant epilepsy
THC: minimum 5% CBD by weight; 0.3% or less THC by weight
UPDATE MARCH 2018: Distribution and retail sale of low-THC Industrial Hemp CBD was legalized for any use, however, products containing even small amounts of cannabis is a misdemeanor crime. Source Wikipedia.
Conditions: Intractable (hard to control) epilepsy
THC: A non-psychoactive cannabinoid that contains below 3%, maximum 32 ounces and free from plant material
Update: Registration Cards issued by the Office of Medical Cannabidiol requires licensed medical cannabidiol dispensaries to dispense to qualified patients by December 1, 2108. Qualified includes: Cancer, Seizures, Crohn’s, MS, AIDS or HIV, ALS, Parkinson’s, Terminal illness with life expectancy of one year and untreatable pain. Petitions can also be submitted to the Board for approval of an illness not on the list.
Conditions: Although CBD oil was exempted from the definition of marijuana, THC is still banned and CBD is not expected to be readily available as it can contain traces of THC.
THC: None; only CBD
Conditions: Intractable seizure disorders
THC: None; only CBD
UPDATE: Hemp derived CBD products are legal in Kentucky pursuant to 40 KRS 218A.010 Item #27 which states the following – the term Marijuana does not include:
- Industrial hemp that is in the possession, custody, or control of a person who holds a license issued by the Department of Agriculture permitting that person to cultivate, handle, or process industrial hemp;
- Industrial hemp products that do not include any living plants, viable seeds, leaf materials, or floral materials;
- The substance cannabidiol, when transferred, dispensed, or administered pursuant to the written order of a physician practicing at a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a Kentucky public university having a college or school of medicine;
- For persons participating in a clinical trial or in an expanded access program, a drug or substance approved for the use of those participants by the United States Food and Drug Administration;
- A cannabidiol product derived from industrial hemp, as defined in KRS 260.850; or
- A cannabidiol product approved as a prescription medication by the United States Food and Drug Administration;
Even though hemp is removed from the controlled substance list (2018 Farm Bill), no person can grow, handle or process hemp plants, seed, leaf or floral materials without a hemp licensed issued by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Conditions: Debilitating epilepsy
THC: Processed cannabis plant extract, or resin that contains 0.5% THC or less; more than 15% CBD or a dilution of the resin that contains at least 50 mg of CBD per ml
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy that has not responded to three or more options from other treatments
THC: Hemp extracts 0.3% THC or less and at least 5% CBD by weight
STATE: NORTH CAROLINA
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy
THC: Hemp extracts 0.9% THC or less by weight; at least 5% CBD by weight (must contain no other psychoactive substance)
UPDATE: The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced on February 8, 2019 that it is taking the same stance as the FDA with regards to CBD products and will be targeting manufacturers and retailers selling products containing CBD oil. Source Bradley.
STATE: SOUTH CAROLINA
Conditions: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or any other form of refractory (unmanageable) epilepsy not adequately treated by conventional medicine
THC: CBD or derivative of cannabis that contains 0.9% THC and over 15% CBD, or at least 98% CBD and 0.90% THC by volume that has been extracted from marijuana in a laboratory
Conditions: Intractable seizure conditions
THC: Cannabis oil with 0.9% or less as part of a clinical research
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy
THC: Cannabis with 0.5% or less and minimum of 10% CBD by weight
UPDATE JUNE 14, 2019: Texas Governor Abbot signed Bill HB 3703 which allows conditions to include Medical Seizure Disorders, MS, Spasticity, Terminal Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Autism and ALS.
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy that has not responded to three or more treatments suggested by a neurologist
THC: Hemp extracts with 0.3% or less by weight and a minimum of 15% CBD by weight and contains no other psychoactive substances
UPDATE DECEMBER 3, 2018: Legal possession of hemp extract, or CBD oil containing less than 3% THC no longer requires a registration card. However, those in Utah who cultivate, possess or sell these products must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy
THC:Cannabis oils with 0.5% or less and a minimum of 15% CBD or THC-A (non- psychoactive form)
UPDATE 2018: Bill HB 1251 expanded the conditions significantly. Also, the Virginia Board of Pharmacy has approvedfive companies to open dispensaries sometime in 2019.
Conditions: Seizure disorders
THC: Levels of THC and CBD are not defined; allows for possession of CBD in a form without a psychoactive effect
UPDATE 2017: Bill SB 10, Section 4, #13 replaced the condition “seizure disorder” with “medical condition.”
In February of this year, Governor Tony Evers announced that he would include a proposal to legalize medical cannabis, decriminalization of possession up to 25 grams and establish an expunction procedure for criminals involving less than 25 grams in his proposed budget.
However, the Joint Finance Committee removed the medical provisions from the proposed budget with every Republican member voting to discard the compassionate program.
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy or seizure disorders
THC: Hemp extracts with 0.3% or less and minimum 5% CBD by weight
UPDATE 2019: Bill HB0 171 /HEA No. 0110 (Page 4 was signed by Governor Mark Gordon legalizing the cultivation and sales of Hemp derived CBD with a House vote of 56-3 .
STATES LEGAL FOR MEDICAL USE OF ALL CBD PRODUCTS
Twenty-two states that fully legalize the Medical use of all CBD products derived from either hemp or Marijuana with doctor’s recommendation are as follows:
Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington.
STATES LEGAL FOR RECREATIONAL USE
Currently, there are 9 States where the Cannabis plant, including both marijuana and hemp, are completely legal for recreational and medicinal use. These states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont (July 1, 2018) and Washington.
THREE STATES NOT LEGAL
Currently there are three states where marijuana and marijuana derivatives are illegal. They are:
Idaho (vetoed by Governor), Nebraska and South Dakota.
UPDATE: This has not changed. Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota still consider marijuana and marijuana derivatives illegal.
Idaho: According to Idaho’s Drug Policy, Marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance under Idaho law and it is considered illegal to produce, deliver or possess and is subject to specific penalties; refers to all parts of the plant.
Nebraska: Update January 10, 2019: LB 110 was introduced to the legislature. The bill would allow Nebraskans use of cannabis for certain medical conditions such as severe or chronic pain lasting longer than 3 months and could not adequately be treated by non-opioid medications, ptsd disorder where at least one other treatment failed and terminal illnesses (where patients had less than one year to live); create a system to regulation production and distribution for patients with these conditions.
South Dakota: Attorney General says “industrial hemp and all forms of CBD oil are still illegal in the state.The only exception to the CBD Law is Epidiolex.
Caution is recommended if using in these states.
Note: The Drug Enforcement Administration (FDA) stands by its position that marijuana and its derivatives remain illicit and that it is a Schedule 1 drug.
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Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a legal or medical endorsement. It is up to you to seek medical attention or advice of a medical practitioner. We strongly advise you to make sure CBD and medical or recreational marijuana is legal in your area of residence. See full medical disclaimer here.
Do you agree with this? Have there been any new changes in your state? Feel free to share any comments or new information below.