State by State Guide Discussing the Legalities of CBD Gummies

Written by on April 22, 2020 in Health, Herbs, Seeds & Spices with 0 Comments


Trying to figure out the legalities of CBD is much like doing a tarot reading for yourself. There are never any clear answers, and you may walk away with more questions than you had when you started. That’s because CBD sits squarely in what is known as a “legal grey area.” No one in the federal government knows how to handle CBD gummies because their popularity was unexpected, and regulation is a massive undertaking. The fact that states can adopt their own laws just makes things even murkier and sorting out the mess seems a long way off.

A quick note before we jump into trying to untangle some of the knots: The legal landscape for CBD is constantly evolving, so any information contained in this article could be out of date by the time it is published. The global changes happening surrounding COVID-19 make things even more unpredictable. Things could remain stagnant because the government has bigger problems to worry about than who is taking CBD gummies for anxiety. Or laws could drastically and quickly relax because people are losing access to basic healthcare and mental health services to make time and space for people infected with the virus. Regardless of the direction of the shift or lack thereof, the information contained in this article should in no way be construed as legal advice.

Federal Laws

The federal government ran into an unexpected snafu when the Farm Bill passed in 2018. That bill legalized farming of hemp and processing of hemp products, automatically removing hemp-derived CBD gummies like these from Verma Farms from the FDA’s list of controlled substances. The market immediately blew up, with dozens of new brands skipping onto the scene and consumers buying CBD products faster than suppliers could put them out.

Suddenly, tons of new products were entering the market with almost no oversight. They were being advertised as supplements and therapeutic products, and regulating them would cost more time, labor, and money than the government was prepared to spend. The Food, Drug, and Cosmetics division, now in charge of getting control of the craze, put out a statement indicating that CBD was not approved as a food additive, supplement, or curative treatment.

The agency later clarified the focus of their concern, stating that they intended to pursue enforcement with companies that market to minors, make medical claims, and use unsafe manufacturing processes.

You can breathe a sigh of relief now. The federal DEA is not going to bust down your door just because you take CBD gummies for relaxation before you meditate. But you may want to be extra careful about the CBD gummy brands you use, because no one is regulating anything. The FD&C has essentially washed its hands of responsibility by indicating that CBD is not intended for human consumption, so now it is regulated about as much as a Tide Pod.*

*Reputable brands do a phenomenal job of regulating themselves by ensuring the hemp used to make their products is domestically and organically grown, then they have every batch tested by a third-party lab. This ensures purity and potency so you know you are only getting the best CBD gummies that are safe and effective.

State-By-State Laws

Marijuana-friendly states have no restrictions on CBD, so it’s simple if you live in one of those states. All the other states have their own sets of laws, as well as local interpretation. For example, Wisconsin has chosen to follow federal guidelines, making ingestible CBD products illegal. The governor, however, has asked local law enforcement not to enforce the law for anyone selling or possessing hemp-derived CBD gummies and oils.

You can probably deduce that this means enforcement is at the discretion of individual officers. While citations and fines may not hold up in court, your gummies could be confiscated and you could be subjected to a major hassle. This is the case with many states, but here is a quick rundown of the basic laws, state-by-state:

CBD is Unrestricted:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington DC

Hemp-Derived CBD Only:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

CBD Laws Are Fuzzy:

In these states, you may need a prescription, there may be additional limitations on the amount of THC allowed, or laws may be like Wisconsin maintaining discretionary enforcement. Hemp-derived THC contains < 0.3 percent THC naturally, but some states have tighter restrictions. If you live in or plan to travel to one of these states, check online for the most current information.

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

CBD Completely Banned:

  • Idaho
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota

Final Thoughts

The best way to avoid trouble when taking CBD gummies is by staying discreet and ensuring your CBD is hemp-derived. Remember that products made with CBD isolate contain no THC whatsoever, and these may be your safest bet in states where laws are questionable. Make sure you use brands that provide a certificate of analysis and have it with you when you travel in case of any questions. Stay safe and be patient. Laws are changing every day, and soon you won’t have to worry about whether your gummies are legal or not.

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