Is CBD Oil Legal in 2019?
As the push for legal medical marijuana turned into one of the more universally popular stances in the country, advocates have been pushing for more states to legalize cannabis entirely.
While only 9 states currently have legalized recreational marijuana, as an industry weed has had a huge year of growth. This is in large part due to the increasing popularity of products that contain CBD in them. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the hundreds of compounds found in the cannabis plant, and the potential it has shown in helping with pain, seizures and anxiety have made it a natural fit for medical and recreational weed alike.
The most commonly used form of CBD is CBD oil. Combining CBD extract with a carrier oil like coconut oil, it can be ingested or vaped, bringing a lot of variety. But because marijuana legalization is in such a murky situation with both federal and state laws to grapple with, CBD oil’s legality can be hard to parse depending on where you are. Let’s start with legality at the federal level.
Is CBD Oil Legal Federally in 2019?
Despite the many states that have legalized some or all forms of marijuana, federally the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to classify CBD as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I drugs are defined by the DEA as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” This is how not just CBD, but the entire cannabis plant is classified.
Of course, because legal marijuana is in such a confusing transitional period, even here there are potential exceptions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a treatment for a rare form of pediatric epilepsy that contains CBD. The DEA decided to classify this as a Schedule 5 drug, the scheduling that indicates the lowest potential for addiction and abuse.
Hemp producers who sell CBD products will often use the 2014 Farm Bill to claim that it is legal. This bill includes a provision that allows for the legal cultivation of hemp provided it is used for academic agricultural research or under a state pilot program. But there is still confusion about whether the legal allowance for cultivation also includes selling it
The DEA hasn’t made going after CBD users a priority, but generally federally it remains illegal. You’ll have to go on a state-by-state level to see if CBD oil is legal where you are.
Which States Allow CBD Oil?
The push for legal cannabis has made enough progress that now there are only three states where marijuana of any sort in any form continues to be completely illegal. Those states are Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota. If you don’t live in these states, you may be able to acquire legal CBD oil.
But each state has its own specifics you need to be aware of. Let’s break them down.
States Where Marijuana Is Fully Legal
Currently, there are 10 states in America where marijuana is legalized both medically and recreationally. This does not count Washington D.C., which also has full legalization.
These 10 states with legal cannabis are:
Michigan is the most recent state to legalize marijuana after state voters easily voted for the ballot initiative in the 2018 midterm elections.
In these states (and D.C.), simply go to a dispensary and you will be able to purchase CBD oil legally – provided you are 18 or over.
States Where Medical Marijuana Is Legal
In addition to the states with legal recreational weed, there are 23 other states where it is legal but only at a medical level. Those 23 states are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
The most recent of these states to legalize medical marijuana were Missouri and Utah, who like Michigan voted to pass it in the 2018 midterms. Oklahoma also voted to legalize medical marijuana earlier in 2018.
Whereas Michigan already had medical weed legalized to make for a quicker route to starting full legislation, these states don’t yet have an operational system in place. North Dakota and West Virginia also still are not operational yet, nor in Louisiana or Arkansas. Ohio is also behind schedule, having been unable to meet their goal of having operational dispensaries two years after voting for legalization. And until those are operational, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy ruled that any CBD products not sold in dispensaries licensed by the state’s program are illegal.
While in all of these states recreational marijuana remains illegal, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island have all decriminalized the drug. In these states, having smaller amounts of marijuana on you won’t lead to an arrest or a criminal record. The maximum amount you’re allowed to have on your person will vary by state.