With a patchwork of laws and regulations governing CBD products, it can be difficult to figure out what’s legal where. We’ve outlined the current situation, what makes it so confusing, and how it might evolve.

How Did CBD Become Legal?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of about 100 active compounds found in hemp. Unlike the more well-known cannabinoid THC, CBD does not cause intoxicating or euphoric effects.

From 1938–2018, with only a few exceptions, hemp was illegal to grow, possess, or use for research in the US. In 2018, revisions to the Farm Bill legalized the growth of so-called industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.3 percent—what can be called trace amounts—of THC. (All of Canopy Growth’s industrial hemp is grown and sourced right here in the US, in states including Oregon, California, New York, and Pennsylvania.)

The Farm Bill also federally legalized hemp-derived CBD; however the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet created a regulatory pathway for companies to submit products that contain CBD for approval.

In the absence of that federal regulatory pathway, CBD producers and consumers must rely on the state-level regulations to guide manufacturing, sales, distribution, delivery, and other practices.

The State of State Regulations

State regulations and restrictions regarding CBD can be dizzyingly specific. For example, Utah only permits CBD gummies that are cube-shaped. Hawaii does not allow CBD gummies at all, but it does allow CBD softgels and tinctures. And many states allow CBD topicals, while restricting edible CBD products.

In general, though, states allow or prohibit the sales of CBD based on the format of the product.

The regulatory environment is constantly evolving, and laws change frequently.

By Shop Canopy