Is CBD hemp flower legal?
CBD hemp flowers are now one of the most popular trends in the United States. While it is rising in popularity within the health community, CBD hemp flower legal status is still an issue.
Technically, they are not illegal in the country. The technicality is because not all fifty states have the same laws on hemp flowers. Some states fully legalize CBD hemp flowers, while others completely ban them. Some states are in the gray area.
Hemp flowers are not to be confused with marijuana flowers. While the two are from the same Cannabis Sativa family, hemp has been declared federally legal in the 2018 Farm Bill.
So long as the 0.3% THC levels in dry weight are observed, hemp, hemp flowers, CBD hemp, hemp oil, and other hemp-derived products are legal on the federal level. State laws, however, can be a different story. Read below to know about CBD hemp flowers’ legal status.
CBD hemp flowers in the United States
You may be confused about the legality of hemp in the country. The laws surrounding hemp are pretty confusing. As mentioned before, hemp is not the same as weed.
Marijuana is infamously known as an organic substance that can cause intoxication to those who consume it. This is because of the compound that is abundantly present in the plant: tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. By contrast, hemp has low THC but is rich in another cannabinoid: cannabidiol or CBD.
Hemp-derived CBD flowers do not cause a high for users. CBD is also said to help with several diseases, although the FDA has not approved this science. But its many supposed benefits are why many people are looking for pre-rolls of hemp buds or CBD hemp flowers turned into gummies, softgels, tea, and other consumables.
Legal states for CBD hemp flowers
There are generally three industrial CBD hemp flower legal classifications: legal, illegal, and gray states. States that legalize hemp flowers allow the buying, selling, using, and growing of hemp. States that have made CBD hemp flowers illegal do not allow it at all within their borders.
Gray states are the ones that consider hemp flowers legal but only under particular conditions, such as allowing possession but not the selling of the cannabis plant.
This can often be confusing. The Farm Bill only legalizes industrial hemp on the federal level but leaves legalizing it in the state with the help of state governing bodies.
Arguably, these state laws hold more weight because they are also responsible for regulating hemp production and its complete ban. These are the states wherein CBD hemp flowers legal status has been approved (but not necessarily other types of cannabis):
The Other States Include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Related Article: What to Know about Smoking CBD
Illegal and gray states for CBD hemp flowers
Unsurprisingly, there are still some states that have banned hemp within their borders. But ever since the Farm Bill was passed, these state laws have been continually challenged by both locals of the state and other citizens of the country.
The need for hemp for recreational use and therapeutic (even ones that the FDA has not verified) has created a high demand. Nonetheless, these states have banned or are still in the process of revising their local laws regarding the legal status of hemp within its borders:
The state of Idaho allows the production, processing, transportation, and research of industrial hemp. However, the good news for locals and tourists is that the state has planned to slowly legalize industrial hemp by starting with the spring 2022 growing season.
The Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act was signed into law last June 2020. The newly enforced act legalized hemp flowers’ legal cultivation under the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce provision. The funding for the program, however, was not approved by the Mississippi Legislature. As a result, only licensed individuals can cultivate hemp in the state.
It is still illegal to grow hemp in New Hampshire, but a new pathway has been opened. Cultivators can now apply for a license straight from the USDA. However, the process for approval is tedious and requires time and money from the cultivators. In addition, an FBI criminal history background check is mandatory for anyone applying for the license.
Hemp-derived CBD products remain legal in the state, but smokable hemp is a big no-no. Smoking hemp flowers is illegal in North Dakota because of the identification complications it has caused with law enforcement in the past, mistaking hemp for weed. Anyone growing hemp is also required to obtain a license from the USDA.
District of Columbia (D.C.)
Washington D.C. does not have an active industrial hemp program. There are no clear-cut state laws about possession or growing hemp flowers. There are also no licensing requirements. However, there is a proposed possession limit for cannabis-derived oils. The Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2019 has proposed a limit of 72 ounces of a cannabinoid product in liquid form per day.
The state of Louisiana’s industrial hemp plan was approved by the USDA last 2019. Anyone manufacturing, growing, or selling hemp flowers needs a license. Anyone who transports hemp flowers legally into the state also needs a license. On top of that, smokable hemp and all similar products are banned from the state except for rolling papers.
Hemp flowers’ legal status in Alabama requires plenty of paperwork and background checks. If you pass all of these requirements, a license will be given to you. There is also an application fee of $200 and $1000 for every growing area. All cultivators are required to provide the exact location of every growing area they own. For the grown hemp to be legal, it must contain no more than the legal limit of 0.3 percent THC.
In 2019, Texas signed a bill that made the cultivation and production of hemp legal. Usage of hemp products also became widely available. However, smoking hemp is still illegal, as stated in the bill. Guidelines for possessing or growing hemp for other purposes are still unclear. As a general rule, hemp flowers’ legal status is okay, but not pre-rolls for smoking. Other hemp-derived products are also allowed and accessible to the general public.
In Utah, hemp flowers are legal for possession but not for smoking, distribution, or marketing. In other words, personal use is okay. Public use is not. And even then, only licensed individuals are allowed to cultivate hemp plants. CBD hemp products are available in the state, but those are also registered and approved by the USDA and UDAF.
Hawaii signed into law the legalization of growing hemp in 2020 through the USDA. Individuals and companies are now allowed to cultivate hemp but under the condition that they obtain a license first. Anyone with a criminal history is prohibited from producing or being a key participant in cultivating the plant. No hemp flowers are legal or allowed to be grown in private residences.
Ohio considers hemp flowers legal. However, there is a strict law for hemp farmers. Their hemp crop must be tested before it can be harvested. The 0.3% THC threshold must be of observation for strict compliance with the USDA. If the crop fails to stay below the legal limit, growers can request one more test. Otherwise, they must get rid of the crop.
The Nebraska Legislature signed into law the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act. This act established a hemp program that allows the regulation of growing, manufacturing, and selling hemp flowers as legal in the state. Growers must obtain a license regardless of the purpose of cultivation. Individuals caught growing hemp without a license are subject to state penalties.
Is there a difference between state laws vs. federal laws?
Many people are unaware of the difference between the federal and state law about hemp flower’s legal status, but it is important to note. In any case, the two could be different when it comes to hemp laws.
As mentioned before, federal law legally allows hemp to be used, bought, sold, and grown. As a citizen of the United States, you are of the protection by federal laws from incrimination if you possess or use hemp.
However, your state laws may have something different to say. While federal laws apply to everyone living in the country, state laws enforce local citizens of each state. If you are violating state laws, your local law enforcement unit is to prosecute you.
This is why it is very important to know your state laws about hemp flowers’ legal status. They may be legal in your previous home state, but you have to check in with local authorities before purchasing or growing CBD hemp flowers if you recently moved. This is to help avoid complications with the law.
Is smoking hemp flowers legal?
Smoking premium-quality industrial hemp quickly became popular after the Farm Bill was active. It is an effective way to consume CBD hemp flowers legally and can be one of the cheapest options, depending on where you buy it. On the federal level, smoking hemp flowers is no different from hemp oil or edibles.
In other words, it is legal. However, your state may again say differently. The state may allow CBD hemp oil but not hemp flowers for smoking.
If you are planning on buying pre-rolled hemp flowers, be sure to check your local state laws. Ensure these are up to date because many states have begun to draft or implement new hemp laws following the Farm Bill.
Though it’s a bit redundant at this point, remember that hemp and marijuana are not the same. Weed is still illegal in many states, but some states have legalized marijuana even for recreational use.
Hemp flowers’ legal status on the federal level may be of approval, but state laws differ from one another. Throughout all fifty states in the country, some have legalized all cannabis plants, including marijuana, for medical and recreational purposes. Other states are still yet to follow.
The 2018 Farm Bill has greatly helped in advancing the legalization of industrial hemp nationwide. Many hemp farmers have steady income and business since the bill was into law.
If you are planning on cultivating or consuming hemp flowers, you must do your research well. Hemp flowers, or any cannabis plant and byproducts, are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases despite the many therapeutic and medicinal benefits many brands market. Consult with a professional first if you are unsure of its possible consequences on your health.