Is CBD oil legal in Pennsylvania?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- Pennsylvania CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in Pennsylvania
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) oil and other CBD products are legal and widely available in Pennsylvania. The state legalized medical marijuana and launched its Industrial Hemp Pilot Program in 2016. In 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, establishing a medical marijuana program, including a Medical Marijuana Program Fund, a Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, and a research program. It’s one of many states that began writing and rewriting state law following the signing of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which legalized hemp and hemp-derived products on a federal level.
Hemp and hemp-derived products are legal in Pennsylvania and overseen by the state’s Department of Agriculture. Pennsylvania has carefully detailed rules about growing hemp, from seed procurement to crop testing, but on anything other than that, it simply says citizens are responsible for following state and federal laws.
What is CBD?
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. After tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant and has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD can be sourced from both marijuana plants and hemp plants, which are legal in most countries as they contain minuscule amounts of THC.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Combine THC and CBD to fully employ the entourage effect; THC and CBD work hand-in-hand to amplify each others’ effects.
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
The 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act categorized all types of cannabis, including hemp, as Schedule I, defined as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction. The act prevented further research that may have shed light on beneficial uses for cannabis.
But this started to change with the passage of the 2014 Hemp Farming Bill, which recognized the difference between hemp, a low-THC, high-CBD type of cannabis, and marijuana. Hemp was defined as having less than .3% THC by weight, while marijuana has more than .3% THC. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which was signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 20, 2019, officially removed hemp from the list of Controlled Substances, though marijuana is still illegal in some states and is still classified as Schedule I, making it illegal at the federal level. CBD derived from marijuana plants is, therefore, still illegal while CBD from hemp is legal but governed by rules that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has yet to disseminate.
The 2018 Hemp Farming Bill also granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the authority to regulate CBD labeling, therapeutic claims, and use as a food additive. Despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA has taken the stance that even hemp-derived CBD may neither be added to food and beverages nor marketed as dietary supplements. While the FDA has begun a process of re-evaluating that stance, it has yet to revise its rules or specifically regulate CBD products, leading to further confusion. The FDA has been strict when it comes to health claims and content that could be construed as medical advice about CBD.
While the Farm Bill did legalize hemp, its production, and the sale of any product derived from it, including CBD, it is still highly regulated. The bill also allows some states to make their own rules for CBD cultivation and sale. States may also try to regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and other products instead of waiting for final FDA rules.
The FDA released guidelines in March of 2020 on the regulation of cannabis-derived and hemp-derived CBD products.
Pennsylvania CBD laws
In July 2016, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed House Bill 967, legalizing hemp cultivation and processing, including hemp-derived CBD production. It was one of many states that moved to regulate hemp production as an agricultural commodity in the wake of the 2014 Farm Bill. Later amendments to the state’s agricultural code removed requirements for hemp growers to be part of a university-affiliated research program.
HB 967 set the standard for hemp and marijuana at .3% or less THC, just like the federal statute. It designated the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) to oversee all hemp-related matters. PDA has since submitted its hemp cultivation program to the USDA for approval.
To meet federal legal criteria, CBD oil must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Hemp growers must be licensed by the PDA. Licenses are $600 per year for up to five locations, with additional fees for more locations; the state doesn’t limit the number of locations or acreage. Licenses will not be granted to anyone convicted of a drug felony in the 10 years prior to application. Growers who unintentionally violate the law will be given an opportunity to remedy the charges against them. If it happens three times in a five-year period, the grower is banned from producing hemp for five years. Growers who intentionally violate the law will be reported to law enforcement.
Inspectors are permitted to visit farms and choose plants for testing. Plants that have more than .3% THC but less than 1% will be retested and possibly destroyed. THC levels above 1% result in immediate destruction and investigation by law enforcement.
Processors are not required to be licensed unless they are processing hemp or CBD into food products. In that case, the processor must register with the PDA’s Bureau of Food Safety. The only guidance issued by the bureau is that food purveyors must comply with federal law and guidelines from the FDA.
The state’s Department of Agriculture specifies that anyone who processes hemp into food must be licensed as a food establishment, though it deferred to federal legislation, specifically FDA rules, on the subject of CBD intended for human consumption.
Pennsylvania CBD possession limits
There are no limits on possession of hemp-derived CBD products in Pennsylvania. Patients registered with the state’s medical marijuana program are permitted to possess a 30-day supply of medical marijuana.
There are no limits on possession of hemp-derived CBD products in Pennsylvania. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Where to buy CBD in Pennsylvania
Vape and smoke shops in Pennsylvania often sell hemp-derived CBD in a variety of forms. Pharmacies and health food stores may also sell hemp CBD products. CBD derived from cannabis is also available from medical marijuana dispensaries, but only to qualified patients with a doctor’s recommendation.
Shopping online for hemp-derived CBD products is an option since the US Postal Service has confirmed that legal CBD products may be shipped by mail. CBD products can usually be found online at the websites of specific brands. You can find out more about where to buy CBD oil on Weedmaps.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
The FDA currently does not allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn’t reached a final conclusion on regulating hemp-derived CBD products. While the FDA slowly and cautiously approaches making new regulations for CBD products, the gap between regulated products and anything goes grows wider, leaving consumers at risk of buying poor-quality products. When buying CBD products, look for the following on the label:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
- Net weight or volume.
- Manufacturer or distributor name.
- Suggested use.
- Full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.
One of the most important things to pay attention to is whether a CBD product is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
Full-spectrum means that the CBD has been extracted from a hemp plant along with all other cannabinoids and terpenes, including whatever trace amounts of THC the plant may have produced. Consuming full-spectrum CBD may yield better results thanks to the entourage effect, a phenomenon in which the mixture of cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce a more pleasant experience.
Broad-spectrum means that the product contains CBD and terpenes, but has undergone additional processes to strip out any THC.
Finally, isolate is a product that has gone through more intensive processing to remove all compounds except for CBD. Consuming isolate may produce different effects than full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, as these products do not produce the entourage effect.
Is CBD oil legal in Pennsylvania? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD? Why is CBD sometimes illegal? Pennsylvania CBD laws
Where to Buy CBD in Pennsylvania in 2020
If you’re looking to purchase legal CBD in Pennsylvania, this article has the answers you’re looking for.
The CBD industry is relatively new and can be challenging to understand. That’s why we’ve examined the local laws and included a helpful guide for buying good-value, high-quality CBD in Pennsylvania.
Usually, your safest option for finding legal CBD in Pennsylvania is to place your order with a reliable online store. Online stores generally have the best selection for low prices.
But before we dive into the details of buying CBD in Pennsylvania, you need to know the laws regarding marijuana products in the Keystone State.
Table of Contents
- Buy CBD Oil in Pennsylvania:
- Is CBD Legal in Pennsylvania?
- How to Buy CBD in Pennsylvania
- Advice for Buying Quality CBD in Pennsylvania
- Shopping Online
- Is Marijuana Legal in Pennsylvania?
- According to the Controlled Substances Act, a Schedule 1 Drug has the Following Qualities:
- Pennsylvania Marijuana Possession Penalties
- Municipal Decriminalization in Pennsylvania
- Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program
- Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Eligible Medical Conditions
- Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program
- Final Notes on Buying CBD in Pennsylvania
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Is CBD Legal in Pennsylvania?
YES! As a result of a recent change to the Agricultural Act, CBD is legal to purchase in all 50 states. However, the law changes depending on the source of your CBD.
CBD can be derived from both marijuana and industrial hemp plants. The critical difference between the two plants (in the eyes of the law) is the amount of THC they contain.
THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that causes the user to feel high. Marijuana-derived CBD will have high levels of THC, which means that you’ll likely get stoned if you use it. If the CBD is derived from marijuana, it is illegal for the general public of Pennsylvania to possess.
Industrial hemp CBD generally contains less than 0.3% THC and, as a result of the 2018 Agricultural Act, are no longer considered as marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.
Therefore, as long as your CBD is made with industrial hemp, you shouldn’t have any trouble with the law.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can find high-quality CBD oils in Pennsylvania.
How to Buy CBD in Pennsylvania
Usually, your best bet for finding legal, high-quality industrial hemp CBD is by placing an order with an online store.
Before you go ahead and place an order, take a look at our guide below for finding high-quality CBD every time.
Advice for Buying Quality CBD in Pennsylvania
- Only buy from companies that have had their products tested by an outside lab. Third-party labs can verify that your CBD is free from toxins, such as pesticides or solvents, and that the CBD advertised matches what’s actually in the product.
- Double-check the THC content. For your CBD to be considered legal in the United States, it must have a THC content of less than 0.3%. If the THC content exceeds this limit, you might find yourself in trouble with the law.
- Make sure your CBD is labeled as “full-spectrum.” Full-spectrum CBD is produced using the entire hemp plant. This process captures additional beneficial cannabinoids that help your body process CBD. Some good compounds to look out for are terpenes and flavonoids. Learn more about cannabinoids here.
If you take the time to perform a few simple checks, you increase the chances of finding high-quality CBD substantially.
These checks are much easier to perform when you shop online rather than in-store. Any reputable CBD supplier will have these metrics listed in an easy-to-find place on its website.
Shopping online is almost always the best way to find high-quality CBD.
When you shop online, you can double-check that the supplier has had its products tested by an outside lab. Any reputable source will have these tests available on its website.
There is a much more extensive selection of products available in online stores. You should be able to find tinctures, creams, balms, oils, waxes, vape liquids, and more when you search online. You might only have one or two options available in-store.
Lastly, products online are usually less expensive than those found in-store. Online suppliers can offer you bulk purchase options and discount specials that local stores would have trouble matching.
If you would prefer to shop locally, we have included a list below of stores in Pennsylvania that may be able to help you with all things CBD.
Is Marijuana Legal in Pennsylvania?
Currently, marijuana is only legal for medicinal purposes in Pennsylvania. However, the state has tried implementing recreational marijuana laws and has decriminalized it to some extent.
Even though many states have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, it remains a schedule 1 drug according to the Federal Government.
According to the Controlled Substances Act, a Schedule 1 Drug has the Following Qualities:
- It’s highly addictive and has a high potential to be abused.
- It has no accepted medical value in the United States.
- It can’t be used safely under professional medical supervision.
Marijuana is listed here along with heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms.
Regardless of what the state laws are, you can still face punishment by the Federal Government if you own any drug listed as a controlled substance.
The Federal Government doesn’t usually interfere with minor drug violations, but it’s good to be aware.
Pennsylvania Marijuana Possession Penalties
Although marijuana is still illegal in Pennsylvania, the punishments for possession are lighter when compared with many of the other states.
Pennsylvania law doesn’t recognize a difference between marijuana plants and prepared, ready-to-smoke weed. The charges are entirely based on weight.
If you’re caught with 30 grams (a little more than an ounce), it’s a misdemeanor, and you could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500.
Anything over 30 grams and the punishment rises to a year in jail and a $5000 fine. If you’re caught a second time with more than 30 grams, it becomes a felony, and you might be spending the next three years in jail and $25,000 poorer.
Although marijuana is illegal on the state level, some cities in Pennsylvania have decriminalized first-time possession of small amounts.
Municipal Decriminalization in Pennsylvania
In 2014, Philadelphia became the United States’ largest city to decriminalize marijuana possession. Under the new laws, getting caught with less than 30 grams will only lead to a fine of $25. Smoking in public will get you a $100 fine or nine hours of community service.
However, before you run out to pick up some bud, it’s important to note that it’s up to the police officer’s discretion. The authorities can still charge you under state law, as a result of which you might receive jail time and a criminal record.
Other cities in Pennsylvania that have decriminalized marijuana possession include Erie, York, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and State College.
A compelling case comes out of the small town of Sunbury. Constable Ed Quiggle Jr. introduced the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Reform Resolution, which makes it the official policy of Sunbury police not to enforce any law — state or federal — that interferes with a medical marijuana patient’s right to access weed.
Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has implemented a medical marijuana program. If you’re interested in marijuana and would like to stay out of trouble with the law, applying for a medical marijuana card is the way to go.
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program
Pennsylvania introduced its medical marijuana program in 2016 with Senate Bill 2.
Senate Bill 2 removed all criminal penalties for marijuana users who have a signed recommendation from a licensed physician and are registered with The Pennsylvania Marijuana Registry.
To receive a medical marijuana recommendation, you’ll need to be diagnosed with an eligible medical condition.
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Eligible Medical Conditions
- HIV / AIDS
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Intractable seizures
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Other terminal illnesses, where the patient has less than a year to live.
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Opioid-use disorders
- Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
If you have one of the above medical conditions, you might be eligible for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
You’ll need to be a Pennsylvania resident and at least 18 years old with a valid ID proving residency.
Next, you’ll have to visit your doctor and get them to provide a recommendation for medical marijuana. Your doctor must be able to provide medical records that describe your condition.
If you’re able to complete those steps, you’ll need to go online and register with the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a medical marijuana patient. There is a $50 fee for applying and, if you’re approved, a medical marijuana card will be sent out to you.
Final Notes on Buying CBD in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is slowly catching up with the rest of the United States when it comes to marijuana laws.
Although Pennsylvania hasn’t legalized recreational marijuana use yet, the state has implemented a successful medical marijuana program. So, if you’re a medical marijuana patient, head into your dispensary for the best CBD recommendations found locally.
If you’re not a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, then place your order online with a trusted CBD supplier.
Welcome to the wonderful world of CBD, Pennsylvania!
Buying CBD in Pennsylvania? CBD can be found legally online and in-store, but there are laws you need to be aware of before placing an order.