Is CBD legal in all states? In some states?
As we already know, Cannabidiol, CBD, a single cannabinoid of the 105+ cannabinoids naturally occurring in marijuana, appears to have significant health benefits in many studies. It also has no “get you high” effect. While arguably “psycho-active,” because it appears to reduce anxiety for example, it does not get one “high.”
2/13/2019, I see the following confirmation of a trend I predicted, without joy. I’ve written that the legality of the cannabinoid CBD, or cannabidiol, is ambiguous. I predicted that because of the ambiguity, some people, believing CBD to be nationally legalized, will be prosecuted criminally. I immediately learned of friends whose clients were suffering that very fate. Today Civilized Life reports that NYC is cracking down on “main stream” CBD products. According to the article, the New York City Health Department is cracking down on restaurants and coffee shops selling products with CBD in them. The Health Department is claiming that CBD isn’t approved as safe to eat or drink, and therefore establishments in the city are not allowed to use it as an ingredient in their products. This of course mirrors the FDA involvement I’ve written about.
An excellent way to track the status of the various pending federal bills which have already been put forth to solve the problem, the status can be specifically tracked on the NORML website.
Recently, increasingly, CBD has been treated as legal, and has to a large degree become de facto legal. Legal because everyone thinks its legal. This misperception has become stronger after the passage of the Federal Farm Bill this year. Bring the Federal Farm Bill, passed in late 2018, and the FDA appearing at the table, and the near future trend is worthy of attention. It poses great danger to those already invested in the CDB business. While many elected to office are siding with the populace, with the votes and with the money, ignoring or supporting the “legality” of CBD, the Federal Food and Drug Administration is not taking a laissez-faire attitude. On the heals of the Farm Bill passage, the FDA announced that it now came into their bailiwick, being a substance for human consumption, application, etc., and possibly meeting the criteria to support the assertion of FDA jurisdiction.
While long-term, I see no question that CBD will be legalized and regulated nationally and beyond, short term, some people will get caught in the meat grinder we call “law.” People following the advice of attorneys will sometimes find themselves being prosecuted for doing what they truly believe is legal.
The legal conundrum is this. First, marijuana is still a Federal Controlled Substances Act Schedule One Controlled Substance (with contradictions appearing in many places legally). That includes CBD, which comes only from the cannabis plant. Second, and what is looming as the most critical impending problem is this.
Once the Farm Bill passed, the FDA Food and Drug Administration jumped in immediately, asserting their power over things to be consumed or applied to the body. The current range of purported CBD products are available everywhere from truck stops to Amazon to legal cannabis stores.
Some CBD products are produced in states where it is at least “state-legal,” regulated and lab-tested. The labels are hopefully and probably fairly accurate as to the product actually found in the container. No extra ingredients, and no missing ingredients. No extra THC, pesticides, molds, and the like.
In states in which Cannabis is legalized, regulated, and monitored including laboratory testing for ingredients, the consumer can be pretty confident that the product contains generally what is claimed on the label.
In other states, there is simply no way to know if a product on the shelf or website resembles its label contents or not.
Not only might there be zero CBD, but there may be THC present in higher amounts than per the label. Products which appear “legal” on the label in fact may not be. A tractor trailer of purported hemp, with very very low THC, was stopped, and the drivers held in jail for 30 days. While they are now out on bond, the case continues, and more testing in a different laboratory is being pursued.
Conclusion: During this transition period, I believe we can have more confidence in CBD labels on products from states which have legalized and regulated CBD and other cannabis products. Otherwise, there is simply no way to tell what the product really contains. It could be high in THC, resulting in failing urine drug testing, may contain harmful ingredients, and may contain little or no CBD. This is an excellent example of a legitimate need for government involvement to protect consumers, whether they are using marijuana medically or recreationally or both.
When one takes a medicine, one needs to have confidence in the contents of the product. That comes with legalization and regulation.