In the past few months, you may have noticed CBD oil popping up everywhere. Once, it was a little-known supplement with limited availability. But today you can find it everywhere from restaurant menus to spa treatments.

By Nicole Gleichman, Direct Cannabis Network

This uptick in availability is largely thanks to one thing: the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.

While many people have assumed that the new law has completely legalized CBD nationwide, it is not quite so simple. Read on to learn more about where CBD legality stands in 2019.

The 2018 Farm Bill and CBD

The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law in December 2018, is an exciting step forward for the hemp industry and consumers alike. It legalized industrial hemp and hemp-derived products at the federal level, resulting in CBD oil no longer being considered a controlled substance.

In the bill, it legalizes the “extracts, cannabinoids, and derivatives” of hemp, clearing up any confusion over the federal legality of CBD products. This is contrary to the 2014 Farm Bill, whose language left confusion over the legality of hemp-derived CBD.

For hemp to be legal, it must meet the definition of “agricultural hemp,” which is any cannabis strain containing less than 0.3 percent THC. So long as a CBD oil is extracted from agricultural hemp, it is considered legal at the federal level.

State Laws Create Confusion Around CBD Legality

While there is no question that CBD is legal federally, the legality can still be murky from state to state. If you live in a state who hasn’t yet fully embraced CBD, you may still need to wait a while before your local health food market and acupuncturist begin to carry it.

Why the confusion? There are two reasons:

  1. The Farm Bill allows each state to impose restrictions on industrial hemp and its products, including CBD.
  2. The interpretation of FDA guidelines related to hemp varies by state.

This incongruity between state and federal law is all-too-familiar for those running a medical or recreational marijuana clinic in a state where it’s legal. Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, it can be tough to find a bank or a credit card merchant who will accept them as a client.

Now, hemp-derived CBD is experiencing that contradiction in reverse: industrial hemp and CBD products are now legal at a federal level, but not necessarily at the state level.

What  Does This Means for the Consumer

So, what does all of this mean for the consumer? Can you legally shop for CBD oil in all 50 states?

While purchasing CBD oil products online feel less questionable now, it does not mean that the path for the legal distribution of CBD products in every state is completely paved.

With authorities and law enforcement in certain states still holding firm in their interpretation that the statutes restrict CBD, you are unlikely to find a flourishing local CBD economy until further changes have been made.

As far as traveling with CBD products is concerned, the 2018 Farm Bill makes it much less likely that local law enforcement will give you trouble for traveling with CBD. Still, it might be wise to exercise some caution if you’re traveling in a state that is less friendly to CBD.

Rest assured that there are many hemp business owners, lobbyists, and activists working to clear up any confusion. In the following months and years, we are optimistic that the legal status of hemp and CBD products will continue to expand.

Confusion Still Remains: CBD in Supplements and Food Products

With “extracts, cannabinoids, and derivatives” of hemp now legal at the federal level, it would seem like CBD products are now in the free and clear…but, alas, it’s not so. When it comes to CBD added to food and supplements, it still remains prohibited at the federal level.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not cleared CBD for use as an additive in beverages and food, nor as a dietary supplement. While new regulations may allowfor the use of CBD in food products, companies who sell these products currently are at risk of FDA action.

The Future of Hemp

The 2018 Farm Bill was a huge step towards legal CBD oil and other hemp products, but there is more work to be done before CBD supplements and food products are completely legal at the state and federal level.

In the meantime, consumers around the world are demonstrating their support for hemp legalization with their hard-earned money. Although the legal questions aren’t completely resolved, you can still find quality CBD oil products online and in many stores across the country from companies willing to take a risk and offer this health-promoting compound to those who seek it.

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