Is CBD legal in your state? Check this chart to find out
Is CBD legal? Probably—but maybe not. It all depends on where you are.
CBD has been federally legal since late 2018—if it’s derived from hemp. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s legal in your state. We’ve compiled a state-by-state table of CBD laws, below, that will help you gain clarity.
Note: The chart below applies to unlicensed CBD products only. State-licensed CBD products sold in adult-use and medical cannabis stores operate under different rules.
CBD Legal Status, State-by-State
|State||Is CBD legal?||Restrictions|
|Alaska||Yes||No CBD-infused food/beverage allowed|
|Colorado||Yes||No baked goods|
|Connecticut||Yes||Food/bev must be registered|
|Delaware||Yes||Hemp grower must be affiliated with Delaware State University|
|Florida||Yes||Labeling is regulated|
|Idaho||No||Illegal in every form|
|Indiana||Yes||Labeling is regulated|
|Iowa||No||Illegal in every form|
|Kentucky||Yes||CBD tea not allowed|
|Louisiana||Yes||Many product restrictions|
|Maine||Yes||OK only if CBD extracted from licensed Maine hemp grower|
|Massachusetts||Yes||CBD food/bev requires purity testing|
|Mississippi||Yes||Must be at least 20:1 CBD:THC ratio|
|Missouri||Yes||Age 18+ only. Sales require state registration.|
|Nevada||Yes||No food/bev; CBD sales allowed in cannabis stores only|
|New Hampshire||Yes||Regulations coming|
|New York||Yes||No food/bev; purity testing required|
|North Carolina||Yes||No food/beverage|
|Oregon||Yes||Label regulations coming|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||No food/bev; label regulations coming|
|Rhode Island||Yes||Label guidelines coming|
|South Carolina||Yes||No food/beverage|
|South Dakota||No||Not legal in any form|
|Texas||Yes||Label guidelines coming|
|Utah||Yes||Registration required for sales|
|Vermont||Yes||Can’t combine CBD with meat or dairy. Maple syrup has its own rules.|
|West Virginia||Yes||No food/beverage|
The basics on CBD
CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. Cannabis has been federally illegal since 1937. As long as cannabis has been illegal, so has CBD—even though it has no intoxicating qualities.
That changed late last year.
Now that hemp is no longer a controlled substance, and CBD comes from hemp, all CBD must be legal, right? Not so fast.
In December 2018, President Trump signed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the 2018 farm bill) into law. That Act included a section removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis. The only difference is the federal government considers cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid, to be legally classified as “hemp.”
Now that hemp is no longer a controlled substance, and CBD can be extracted from hemp, all CBD must be legal, right? Not so fast.
Passage of the farm bill “legitimized hemp as an agricultural crop as opposed to a drug/controlled substance,” writes Bob Hoban, one of the nation’s most experienced hemp attorneys. “However, while this legislation paved the way for the hemp industry’s expansion it in no way made the path to legal compliance any clearer for those in the hemp industry.” And by extension: It’s no clearer for those in the CBD industry, either.
As with all things having to do with cannabis, it helps to know which laws are in play: Federal, state, and those we’ll call “mixed jurisdictional”—the rules and regs enforced by health departments and the like.
Federal law is now clear, thanks to the farm bill. Federal authorities are no longer in the business of arresting people for growing hemp, extracting CBD, or possessing either. The DEA is out of the CBD game.
More specifically, the farm bill removed hemp and hemp derivatives from the definition of “marijuana” in the Controlled Substances Act. The new law also specifically tasked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with regulating hemp-derived food and drug products. (More on that below.)
Here’s where it gets complicated.
Federal legality doesn’t automatically confer state legality. Each state handles hemp and CBD differently. In Idaho, Iowa, and South Dakota, CBD is entirely illegal. In New Jersey, New Mexico, and North Dakota it’s legal without restriction. In Alaska, California, Washington, and many other states it’s legal but can’t be sold in combination with food or beverages—except in licensed cannabis stores.
In Vermont it’s legal, although when CBD is added to maple syrup it’s illegal to label the product “Pure Maple Syrup.” Ahh, Vermont.
FDA rules are coming
FDA officials are actively working to create federal regulations around CBD. After holding a highly publicized hearing earlier this year, their staffers have gone away to start crafting the regs. A first draft is expected in early 2020.
Those officials are in a bit of a bind. CBD has already been approved as a pharmaceutical drug in the form of Epidiolex, a drug created by GW Pharma to inhibit seizures. Epidiolex went through the FDA’s grueling drug approval process, and it took years.
After holding a highly publicized hearing earlier this year, FDA officials have gone away to craft the regulations. A first draft is expected in early 2020.
Once a compound has been approved as a drug, the FDA typically does not allow it to be sold in over-the-counter mainstream markets. But it’s currently being used most often as a dietary supplement, like vitamins.
If the FDA bans all non-prescription forms of CBD, it risks opening up a massive illegal market—which would result in a criminal trade in unlicensed, untested, and unregulated CBD. We’ve just experienced the real dangers of that with the illicit trade in THC vape cartridges, which led to the national outbreak of VAPI lung, also known as EVALI.
As we wait for the FDA to release its proposed CBD rules, agency officials are reminding everyone that many of the CBD food and beverage products currently on the market are not technically legal. On June 16, the FDA released a document that said: “We are aware that there may be some products on the market that add CBD to a food or label CBD as a dietary supplement. Under federal law, it is currently illegal to market CBD this way.” At the same time, no federal agents are enforcing that particular law.
County health agencies matter, too
Even within states that allow the legal sale of hemp-derived CBD, there may be complications at the local level.
Some local health departments, for example, may choose to prohibit the sale of CBD in food and beverage products in commercial establishments.
A few years ago some restaurants near Seattle area began offering CBD-infused cocktails to their patrons. That ended when local county health officials stepped in and reminded restauranteurs that CBD was not a known and approved food or beverage. (“They’re erring on the side of caution,” one restaurant owner told me at the time. “They say they don’t quite know what CBD is yet, so they want everyone to hold off until they figure it out.”)
What you need to know
As of late 2019, the general rule for consumers is this: CBD is legal to possess and consume everywhere except Idaho, Iowa, and South Dakota. The rule for manufacturers and retailers is this: Check your local jurisdiction and vet your business plan with a lawyer who knows local CBD laws.
In 2019, Leafly editors tried to purchase more than 75 products to test their CBD content as part of our Leafly CBD Test series. To our surprise, it turned out to be more difficult than we anticipated.
National drug stores like CVS and Walgreens carry CBD products in some states but not in others. When we tried to order CBD products online, some companies agreed to deliver to the Leafly office in Washington state, while others refused. We know the cause was location, because everything was well and fine with our order right up until the point we entered our ZIP Code.
Three states still outlaw CBD, but it's allowed everywhere else. Check our chart to see where your state stands.
What States Legalized CBD Oil: 2021 Update
The process of legalizing CBD has continued to gain traction in different jurisdictions in the United States. The law, however, remains varied and nuanced in various jurisdictions and at different levels of government. At the federal level, legislation on industrial hemp and CBD has been passed, but states still have much sway on what happens within their borders. These laws keep changing as more and more states fine-tune their marijuana laws. Thus, the answer to the question, ‘what states is CBD oil legal 2019?’ may be different from the answer for the same question in 2021.
Some of the states may decide to go with federal law, while others may choose to be a bit more restrictive or more liberal with their marijuana laws. State laws sometimes give municipalities and counties a say on how some aspects of the law will be applied. Some states make a distinction between CBD oil therapeutic and the use of CBD oil for recreational purposes. Some allow for the unrestricted sale and use of CBD extracted from hemp, but they have strict restrictions of CBD derived from regular marijuana.
In this article, we investigate different jurisdictions and what their laws say about CBD oil. In other words, we are asking, in what states is CBD oil legal in the United States.
Is CBD Oil Legal Federally in 2021?
The federal government reserves the power to come up with policies on both recreational and therapeutic drugs. At the beginning of the campaigns for legalization, CBD and other cannabinoids were categorized as Schedule 1 restricted substances. This categorization was due to the relationship between cannabis and THC, which is psychoactive. This background and the relationship between CBD and THC are the reasons why the federal position on the legality of CBD oil is essential in all jurisdictions across the U.S.
The Farm Bill – 2014 made a legal distinction between two strains of marijuana; regular cannabis and industrial hemp. Regular marijuana contains a high percentage of THC, while industrial hemp has higher CBD than THC amounts.
It allowed for the growth, transportation, and research on industrial hemp provided it contained a maximum of 0.3% THC. Regular, THC dominant marijuana, on the other hand, remained a Schedule 1 restricted substance. This separation was critical to the growth of research on CBD.
There was, however, a bit of ambiguity on whether Farm Bill -2014 only legalized the hemp plant or extracts from it too. This ambiguity led to some states considering industrial hemp resin and all other extracts from it as narcotics.
To clarify this matter, the Farm Bill – 2018 stated that industrial hemp extracts would also be legal. As a result, CBD oil is permitted throughout the United States as long as it is extracted from industrial hemp. If, on the other hand, you want to use CBD obtained from marijuana, you can use it for medical purposes according to the state law or if the state in question allows for recreational use of weed.
Which States Allow CBD Oil?
There are different levels of legality for CBD oil. Some states only allow it for therapeutic purposes, while some would permit it for both recreational and therapeutic purposes. The vast majority of states and jurisdictions allow the legal use of CBD in one fo rm or another. The following are the states where CBD is legal in some measure.
States Where Only Medical Marijuana is Legal
As observed earlier in the article, there are nuances where the legality of CBD is concerned. All the states in the list above have it legal in one form or the other. There are, however, some states in the list where CBD oil can only be used for the management of conditions outlined in medical marijuana laws. These are the states we shall discuss in this section. In these states, you can use CBD oil for cancer or other conditions at the recommendation of a doctor, but you can’t get the best CBD gummies for your enjoyment. A doctor has to be involved. They are as follows.
In 2016, the Alabama State legislature passed the so-called Leni’s law, so if anyone asked ‘what states is CBD legal in 2018?’ Alabama would have been one of them. This legislation allowed people with intractable conditions to use CBD oil in their management. The CBD can only be used at the recommendation of a state-registered physician. Such a proposal allows a patient to obtain a medical marijuana card. Only CBD oil obtained from industrial hemp is legal in the state. CBD oil that has been extracted from marijuana is prohibited even for therapeutic purposes.
Georgia allows the use of CBD for some degenerative conditions such as seizures, irritable bowels syndrome, and a host of other conditions that are all listed in the legislation. The main difference between Georgia and most of the other states is that it allows for a higher concentration of THC at 5%.
Iowa passed the law to allow the use of CBD for medical purposes. The bill authorizing the use of CBD oil also listed the conditions in which the oil can be used. People with the listed conditions need medical marijuana cards that can only be given by the state department of health at the recommendation of a certified physician.
The state has legalized the use of CBD as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC. The CBD oil is only legal if you have a prescription from a recognized doctor or if you take it in a clinical trial sponsored by the state government. Only CBD oil extracted from industrial hemp is legal in Kentucky.
The state of Mississippi allows people who have intractable epilepsy to use CBD for the management of seizures. The CBD oil, however, must contain at least 15% CBD and no more than 0.5% THC.
The Nevada medical marijuana act was passed to the law through a ballot measure in 1998 and further improved in 2000. The bill allows the use of marijuana for people with specified conditions outlined in the legislation. One needs a diagnosis from a registered doctor to access cannabis. A patient or their caregiver can have, in their possession, up 2.5 ounces.
This state allows the use of CBD oil for the management of severe cases of epilepsy. The only CBD products permitted in this state are those extracted from industrial hemp. CBD oil extracted from marijuana is entirely illegal even if it meets the rest of the criteria.
Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and other types of intractable epilepsy are authorized for treatment with CBD oil. The THC percentage in these oils must not be above 0.9%
In Tennessee, CBD extracted from industrial hemp is legal for the management of epilepsy. One can only buy this oil from state-sanctioned dispensaries and with a prescription from a registered physician.
Virginia allows for the sale of CBD oil as long it has no more than 5% THC. It must also have a minimum of 15% CBD. The conditions that can be used to manage are outlined in the legislation governing its legalization and usage. A recognized doctor must prescribe CBD oil.
The state has legislation outlining the conditions in which CBD oil can be used. The disease has to be diagnosed by a certified doctor, and they must clearly state that CBD will be used to treat the condition.
In Wyoming, CBD is legal for the treatment of intractable cases of epilepsy after all other medication has failed. Treatment is only permitted if the patient’s neurologist recommends it. The neurologist is then required to submit the request to the State Department of Health. Once certified, the department of health then issues the patient with a card to enable them to obtain weed from state-sanctioned dispensaries.
States Where both Recreational and Medical Marijuana Is Legal
States where recreational marijuana is legal allow medical marijuana by default. After all, if people can freely access weed for recreation, they can then use it for therapeutic purposes. Here you can get the best CBD oil for dogs and other pets or even for yourself without any restrictions whatsoever. These states, however, still put in place laws to govern the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. The intention is usually to ensure that people who use weed for management of conditions are protected from any harmful consequences.
Alaska legalizes the use of medical marijuana in 1998 through a ballot measure. It required anyone wishing to use it to obtain a recommendation from a doctor. With this recommendation, you were allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use. Later in 2014, in another ballot measure, Alaskan voters legalized the use of recreational marijuana for people over the age of 21. Each person was allowed to possess an ounce of weed for personal use. Qualified users can grow up to six plants to supply their own needs. It also provides for the sale of recreational marijuana in state-sanctioned dispensaries.
California has always been ahead of other states where marijuana is concerned. In 1996, it became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. The first ballot measure for the legalization of weed was way earlier in 1972. Although the 1972 action was not successful, it was an explicit declaration of intent that has since been borne out by the activities of Californians in this regard.
In 2016 voters passed Proposition 64, which allows the use of marijuana for recreational purposes by people over the age of 21. Three bodies regulate the use of marijuana and enforcement of related laws in California; the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Department of Public Health, and the Department of Food and Agriculture.
Colorado has policies for medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, and industrial hemp. The state legalized the use of medical marijuana through a ballot measure in November 2000. This law allowed patients with recommendations from recognized physicians to have up to two ounces of cannabis for personal use. A person with written consent from a doctor could also legally grow a maximum of six flowers for personal use. The conditions in which a doctor can authorize the use of marijuana are outlined in the law.
Colorado allowed recreational use of marijuana for adults through a ballot measure in November 2012. The statute provides for qualified individuals to grow a maximum of six marijuana plants for their personal use, but only three of them can be grown plants. They can also have a maximum of one ounce of weed of them while they are within the borders of the state.
The State General Assembly authorized the use of medical marijuana in the state through passage of the MCPP in 2013. This law allows people to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The law specifies the conditions in which marijuana may be prescribed. It also requires a recognized medical caregiver to recommend the use of weed. It is with this recommendation that a user can get marijuana from sanctioned dispensaries.
The use of cannabis for recreational purposes was authorized in 2019 by the Illinois General Assembly. It allows adults above the age of 21 years to purchase and use weed for fun. The law also sets out the limitations to possession, cultivation, and usage.
Maine legalized the use of medical marijuana for conditions specified in law in 1999. This legalization was through a ballot measure, and it only allows people with state-issued cards to access cannabis from dispensaries.
In 2016 through another ballot measure, Maine legalized recreational cannabis for adults above 21 years of age.
You can legally possess a 60-day supply of weed in Massachusetts if you have a medical marijuana card. This was made possible by the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative, which was passed through the ballot in November 2012. It also provided for the licensing of dispensaries from which licensed patients can acquire cannabis.
In 2016, through another ballot measure, recreational cannabis was legalized in the state. Adults over the age of 21 are allowed to purchase an ounce of marijuana at a time. A user can grow a few marijuana plants for personal use. Once they harvest, they can stock up to 10 ounces. It is illegal to smoke weed in public places or when driving.
Medical marijuana was legalized in 2008 in Michigan. The law, the Michigan Compassionate Use Act, outlines the conditions in which a person can legally use cannabis. That the applying person has these conditions must be certified by a recognized physician. The bill didn’t allow the operation of dispensaries until amendments were made in 2016.
Cannabis was used for recreational use in 2018 through a ballot measure. A person aged above 21 years can buy and use marijuana for fun. The law also allows the user to have up to 2.5 ounces on him without recriminations. A qualified individual can also grow a maximum of ten trees for their use and have up to ten ounces of their harvest within their place of residence.
The state of Oregon legalized the use of marijuana in 1998 through Ballot Measure 67. This law allows people with qualifying conditions as listed in the statute to buy medical marijuana from state-sanctioned dispensaries. Applicants must have been diagnosed by a qualified doctor to benefit from the use of medical marijuana. As per this law, a person can have in their possession up to 1.5 pounds of weed at a time. They can also grow a maximum of 18 marijuana plants, out of which a maximum of six can mature at a time.
Recreational use was legalized in 2014, and it made it possible for a person to buy recreational weed from licensed dispensaries as long as those outlets are licensed to sell recreational marijuana.
Medical marijuana became legal in Vermont in 2004. The law was further amended to make marijuana even more available in 2007—the bill outlined who qualified for medical marijuana and the process of acquiring it.
Recreational use became legal in the state in 2018 when the state passed a bill authorizing the personal use. It allowed adults over 21 to possess up to one ounce of weed and grow a maximum of two plants.
Medical marijuana in Washington State was legalized through the ballot initiative 692. This ballot measure allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients with debilitating conditions, which were listed in the law. This statute makes it possible for qualifying patients to possess up to 24 ounces of marijuana and to plant a maximum of 15 plants for personal use.
Voters in D.C. authorized the use of medical marijuana through a ballot initiative in 1998. The statutes, however, didn’t take effect due to laws passed in the U.S. Senate. It was only in 2013 that the first person bought weed in the state.
The legalization of weed for recreational use came into effect in 2015 through a ballot measure. It allowed people above 21 to have up to 2 ounces of marijuana on them. This initiative also legalized paraphernalia for weed use.
States Where Only CBD Oil Is Legal
Marijuana is legal in one form or the other in the vast majority of states. The list below outlines the states where only CBD is legal. It contains states, where either CBD obtained from industrial hemp or marijuana, is permitted. Some states have legalized CBD from both sources, while some have only authorized the CBD derived from industrial hemp. This list contains all of them.
Wondering what states cbd is legal in? We have broken down the legislative landscape for hemp products in 2021.