USA flag in the shape of the continental US. But is CBD legal in every state?

The information contained in this article may not be up to date, nor should it be construed to constitute legal advice and should be used for general information purposes only. 

As the marketing efforts become more prevalent, we’re seeing CBD everywhere. From local gas stations to popular pharmacy chains, cannabidiol is taking the nation by storm.

But is CBD legal? Anyone looking at the numerous CBD shops popping up and cafes offering infused coffees would think the answer is a definitive “yes.” However, some states still have legal restrictions on selling CBD.

Buying CBD products is legal –– most of the time. So what should consumers know about the legality of CBD?

What Is The Difference Between CBD & THC?

Your cannabis sativa oil is high in cannabidiol (CBD) as opposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is because while THC is legal in some places, the federal government still adheres to some severe THC restrictions.

CBD is the non-psychoactive compound the cannabis plant produces. While THC is psychoactive, some studies show that CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC.

Hemp and marijuana are both members of the Cannabis sativa plant family. However, for the classification of hemp, the plant must have 0.3 percent or less THC content. If the plant contains more than 0.3 percent THC, it’s marijuana and illegal in some areas. 

Compared to hemp, marijuana THC and CBD content are different. When it comes to CBD hemp vs. CBD marijuana, CBD hemp is the go-to for extraction because it contains less THC. This ensures the CBD to THC ratio of full-spectrum CBD doesn’t go beyond the federal limitations in place.

The THC content of marijuana is higher than hemp, meaning it’s usually best to choose a high CBD hemp strain for extraction purposes. During the extraction process, other cannabinoids, including but not limited to THC, come with the CBD. Since CBD hemp contains more CBD and lower concentrations of THC, these strains are our go-to.

At Spensry, we use CBD oils and isolates with less than 0.3% THC. We understand that using the purest CBD possible gives our consumers the most authentic experience possible, so we’re extracting our CBD from CBD-only hemp plants.

Is Hemp Federally Legal? Is CBD Federally Legal?

Is CBD in the 2018 Farm Bill? No, but CBD is legal in all 50 states to some extent. 

The Federal legalization of hemp happened in 2019 as a result of the Farm Bill. And since this bill doesn’t explicitly say anything about buying and selling hemp extract, consumers couldn’t help but wonder if CBD extract is legal.

While the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp as an illegal substance under federal law, the FDA released a statement clarifying its stance on cannabidiol in 2019. In this statement, the FDA said it would continue regulating cannabis products under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FD&C Act”) and Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.

So is CBD safe? Well, CBD is an active ingredient in FDA-approved drugs, so it’s safe to say it’s probably not dangerous.

The FDA is still evaluating the safety of CBD. At this point, interstate commerce is at a standstill resulting from its prohibition of food containing CBD and CBD dietary supplements.

However, just because hemp is legal doesn’t mean hemp extract is legal in every state. The rules in the USDA Hemp Production Program only make the legality of CBD more complicated.

USDA Hemp Production Program

Here’s the full USDA Hemp Production Program, as stated by the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. These rules were posted on October 31, 2019, establishing more specifications regarding the rules and regulations for hemp production.

The new action is mandated by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 responsible for amending the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. With this rule, the USDA outlines provisions it will use to approve plans for State and Indian Tribe domestic hemp production.

In this program, you’ll find provisions regarding the maintenance of information on the land where hemp production is happening, testing THC levels, hemp license requirements, disposing of plants that don’t meet the requirements, and how they’ll ensure compliance.

This new addition to CBD oil law includes a 60-day comment period during which groups and individuals can give the USDA feedback. While the federal government creates these regulations, the law does not prohibit states from putting stricter laws in place in addition to these federal requirements.

CBD Legality By State

Hemp cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, possession, and selling are also concerns at the state level, complicating matters even more. Many of these states are still developing their CBD regulations and procedures, as well.

While hemp manufacturing seems just as innocent as selling hemp, each state has its own opinion regarding how to handle each aspect of this industry. In an attempt to clarify the confusion, here’s a list of CBD laws by state you can refer to for further insight:


According to this Public Notice issued by Alabama’s Attorney General, it’s legal to produce, sell, and possess CBD from hemp in the state.


In the state of Alaska, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for regulating its industrial hemp industry. The organization released an Industrial Hemp Regulations Notice containing nine Articles highlighting a multitude of rules for the industry. Retailers need to register with the DNR before selling hemp and hemp products in Alaska.


CBD is legal in Arizona, meaning you won’t need a prescription to purchase it. This cannabinoid is easy to find throughout the state. However, finding a reputable vendor selling high-quality products could be a challenge.


Arkansas no longer has CBD on its list of controlled substances. The state also does not require a license or permit to sell or deliver products containing CBD.


California law lacks requirements regarding manufacturing, processing, or selling CBD products. However, while CBD oil in California is legal, the California Department of Public Health does not allow CBD in foods, beverages, and some other products. There’s a new law proposition (AB-228) that could allow CBD infusions in other products.


CBD infusions are legal throughout this state. CBD oil in Colorado is currently used to infuse a plethora of products across many industries.


Consuming and purchasing CBD is legal in Connecticut.


Delaware lifted its ban on CBD in 2014 through its Industrial Hemp Research Act (the IHRA). This act defined industrial hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”


If you’re looking for CBD oil in Florida, you’re in luck. Currently, CBD is legal in Florida. However, it’s unregulated. With this in mind, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is working on regulations for commercial hemp.


While medical marijuana is still illegal in Georgia, some patients to receive low THC oil. These patients must get a Low THC Oil Registry Card from the Department of Public Health first, though.


Hawaii’s Department of Health states it requires a prescription for anyone looking to purchase CBD products. Sellers selling CBD products outside of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries could have their products pulled from sale by health inspectors, as well.


If it has THC in it, CBD is illegal in Idaho. This includes trace amounts of THC found in CBD products.


Illinois legalized medical marijuana in 2013. Eventually, the state decriminalized recreational use in 2016. In May 2019, they legalized recreational marijuana use starting in 2020, meaning beginning on January 1, 2020, everyone will be allowed to purchase CBD in Illinois.


If you’re interested in purchasing, selling, or possessing CBD oil in Indiana, you can do so without having to worry because state law permits it all.


Iowa opened its first medical marijuana dispensaries in December 2018. According to state law, a dispensary license is required to sell CBD products.


As long as the CBD product has no THC, it can be sold in Kansas. CBD with 5 percent THC or less can treat some medical conditions. 


People can grow, manufacture, and possess CBD products in Kentucky.


CBD cannot contain any THC in Louisiana.


Maine views CBD as food as opposed to medicine. Selling CBD products is legal as long as the sellers don’t include medical claims in their marketing.


Local drugstores in Maryland will begin selling topical CBD products if they aren’t already.


In a policy statement from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, they’re prohibiting the sale of animal feed containing hemp, food containing CBD, CBD products making medical claims, and unprocessed or raw plant material to consumers. However, legislation is attempting to reverse this policy.


Michigan legalized CBD in 2019 with State Rep. Steve Johnson sponsoring the bill. No medical marijuana card is necessary.


Minnesota has been allowing CBD sales since the end of 2018.


Mississipi permits CBD for medical use only. The National Center for Natural Products Research must test any CBD oil sold, and the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center dispenses the products.


Hemp extract registration cards to buy CBD oil from a state-licensed facility are only available to epilepsy patients in Missouri.


Montana lacks laws regarding the prohibition and regulation of CBD.


Nebraska’s Hemp Farming Act makes hemp and hemp products exempt from its controlled substances act. Even with this being the case, law enforcement can still take action against CBD products.


Nevada will not allow CBD as a food additive until the FDA approves it, meaning CBD-infused edibles are still illegal.

New Hampshire 

According to the state Bureau of Public Health Protection in New Hampshire, the state does not allow CBD in foods under the FDA guidelines.

New Jersey 

New Jersey is waiting for USDA final rule and plan approval before moving ahead with its hemp program.

New Mexico

 Selling CBD in New Mexico is allowed. Also, food products can contain CBD in this state.

New York 

CBD in New York is no longer allowed in food and drinks. Currently, there’s a pending law to regulate hemp production and extracts awaiting a governor’s signature.

North Carolina 

Patients can use and possess CBD in North Carolina. However, the cultivation and production of hemp extract remain illegal. At this point, there’s legislation pending approval to change these laws.

North Dakota 

Consumers in North Dakota can possess hemp containing under 0.3 percent THC.


A pending bill will permit the sale of CBD outside of dispensaries if passed. At this point, regulated dispensaries are the sole sellers of CBD in Ohio


Oklahoma requires CBD product labels showing the country of origin and highlighting if it’s synthetic or natural.


By law, Oregon labs must test and certify all CBD products in this state.


Hemp-derived CBD is legal. However, if it’s made from marijuana, the state’s medical marijuana system is responsible for distribution.

Rhode Island

Dispensaries sell medical marijuana while low-THC CBD products can be purchased legally in Rhode Island.

South Carolina 

Patients who have severe seizure disorders can purchase CBD in South Carolina.

South Dakota 

Epidiolex is the only legal CBD in South Dakota.


Since 2015, Tennessee has been allowing the sale of CBD containing under 0.9 percent THC.


CBD oil in Texas is legal. However, felony charges can come as a result of a product containing trace amounts of THC. Medical marijuana is still not permitted here.


The Utah Department of Health Hemp Registry says those who want CBD must obtain a hemp extract registration card from the Utah Department of Health.


Vermont allows people to sell and purchase CBD.


Virginia allows CBD. However, this state does not allow the cannabinoid in foods.


Licensed dispensaries can sell CBD products in Washington.

West Virginia 

West Virginia permits the sale and consumption of CBD.


In Wisconsin, you must be a Wisconsin citizen. Also, a physician must certify that the CBD is treating a medical condition for it to be legal.


Wyoming allows the use and possession of hemp and hemp products. This, of course, includes CBD.

Conclusion On CBD Laws By State

With the laws constantly changing, it’s crucial to pay attention to the legal status of CBD in each state. What’s illegal today might be legal tomorrow, but this could all change by next week. Stay informed with Spensry as we stay up to date on legal progress across the nation.

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