The legal status of CBD in the US is still unclear to many. This lack of clarity is rooted in the source of the cannabidiol, cannabis plants. Both marijuana and hemp are cannabis plants. The former is a Schedule I drug because it contains a high amount of THC, an intoxicating compound. Hemp was traditionally cultivated for industrial purposes and has a high amount of CBD while its THC percentage is quite low.
The legality of CBD products is determined by the percentage of THC in them. US Farm Bill passed in 2018 was a landmark act that brought a revolution in the US cannabidiol industry.
US Farm Bill
The US Farm Bill was passed in 2018. It permits the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines and slackens all the restrictions on the sale, transport, and possession of hemp-derived products, provided, the production procedure of the items are consistent with the law.
The passage of US Farm Bill does not mean that farmers can grow hemp as and when they like it. There exist numerous restrictions to ensure that the best CBD products are sold in the US markets. These are as follows.
- Hemp should not contain more than 0.3% THC as per section 10113 of the Farm Bill. Cannabis plants that have greater than 0.3% THC will be considered non-hemp cannabis/marijuana and they would not get any legal protection that hemp gets.
- An Important state-federal regulatory authority will regulate hemp cultivation. As per section 10113 of the Farm Bill, the agriculture department of various states has to devise a plan after consulting with the state’s chief law enforcement officer and governor. The plan should be then submitted to the Secretary of USDA and the state’s program for licensing and regulating hemp commences only after the plan gets approved by Secretary of USDA.
- The law clearly mentions the actions that will be regarded as violations of the Federal hemp law. Producing cannabis with more than 0.3% THC and cultivating hemp without a license are some of the actions considered as violations of the law. The law has also detailed the punishments for these violations.
Before the US Farm Bill came into effect, CBD was a Federal Controlled Drug Substance. It did not matter, whether it was sourced from hemp or marijuana. Because marijuana-derived CBD has more than 0.3% THC, it is still regarded as a Federal Controlled Drug Substance. Its production, sale, transport, and possession are regulated as per the marijuana laws of states.