California legalized medical cannabis in 1996. Since then many states have followed in the footsteps of California. As of now, more than 40 states have legalized cannabis in some or the other form. However, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. The only exception is CBD derived from hemp with more than or equal to 0.3% THC. This means that you can purchase this type of hemp-derived CBD without a cannabis card. And the same rule applies to California. For instance, you don’t need an MMJ card in Fontana to get CBD oil. If we individually study the laws associated with cannabis in California, you will notice that only adults aged 21 and above can legally possess and consume cannabis.
The only exception in this case is medical marijuana users. The age limit for medical cannabis users is 18 and above. Both recreational and medical and users can use cannabis for different purposes. But here’s a trick, despite CBDs legal status, the law prohibits CBD from being added to the safe food and beverages category. Perhaps, they are still waiting for the FDA’s approval. This eventually boils down everything to one question: Is CBD legal or not. Read on to find the mystery behind CBD and its legality.
Is CBD Partially or Fully Legal?
CBD is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. It is commonly known as cannabidiol and you can find this compound in both hemp and marijuana plants. Some scientific claims suggest that CBD has therapeutic benefits. It can act as an anti-inflammatory agent while it also carries properties of an analgesic. In fact, patients report that they use CBD for anxiety, depression, pain, and other qualifying medical conditions. That said, let us look at the legal status of CBD in detail.
First and foremost, you need to understand that hemp and marijuana are two different things. Hemp strains do not produce toxic substances. This is the reason why hemp-derived CBD is legal on the federal level. And you don’t even need an MMJ card in Fontana to purchase CBD oil. But you have to take note that the legalization took place in 2018. Since then, not many people understand the nitty and gritty of CBD rules and regulations. The trick here is that cannabis is still illegal on the federal level. This means that federal law does not accept cannabis for medical or recreational use.
After hemp was legalized a certain category of cannabis was removed from the schedule 1 substances list. However, the step was to ensure that hemp used for industrial purposes received equal financial and commercial space. The legalization also ensured that CBD derived from hemp with less than or equal to 0.3% THC is legally available nationwide. The only problem was that hemp and marijuana are two different things. This means marijuana is still illegal on the federal level and the case does not change for CBD. As long as marijuana is classified as schedule 1 substance, it will remain federally illegal. The only good news here is that hemp legalization has opened doors for agricultural beneficiaries. You can manufacture, produce, and sell CBD as long as you keep all the regulations in mind.
FDA’s Stand on CBD
Despite the legal status of hemp-derived CBD here’s what confuses cannabis users. Why hasn’t the FDA issued a directive to include CBD in the food and beverages category? Well, the answer to this question is not as complicated as the CBDs’ legal situation. You see, the FDA clearly states that CBD, whether hemp-derived or marijuana-derived, cannot be added. As a result, the law becomes even more complicated at the state level. Making no exception for CBD also leads to confusion among people who possess CBD oil. They are constantly wondering whether this substance is completely legal or not.
To relieve you of this confusion, here’s a theory. Anything that is derived from hemp or marijuana remains under constant scrutiny. Even hemp production and sales activities undergo a brief regulatory process. A clause under the Farm Bill suggests that each state should regulate and prohibit hemp-related activities if required. Be it, sales, manufacturing, or cultivation. States may include CBD in food items, use them to create cannabis cosmetics – this all can be done independently of the FDA directive on CBD.
California CBD Regulations
Presently, the California government’s stand on CBDs legality goes parallel with the federal guidelines. The only difference is that California allows the sales and manufacturing of hemp-derived CBD products. But CBDs addition in the food list still remains under scrutiny. Unless, of course, the FDA approves the addition of CBD oil and other CBD products in the safe food category, nothing can be done. For now, you just have to keep in mind that CBD as per FDA does not come under the food additive, supplement, or ingredient category.
Once the FDA clarifies its stance on CBD and the state introduces AB 228 section in the bill, CBD will be included in beverages, food, and cosmetics without any obstructions. As of now, the bill is still under progress. Until the governor signs the bill, California will remain consistent with FDA guidelines.
CBD Licensing and Cultivation
We have to look at the Hemp Farming Bill to understand the commercial activities associated with the hemp plant. From the above-stated rules, it’s clear that hemp farmers have the right to authorize commercial production and sales. But we have to still wait for the California Food and Agriculture Department to come out with regulatory laws. This also means that the program for law administration is still under development. For now, the farmers produce hemp without having to worry about a possible arrest.
As far as the cultivation aspect is concerned, if you want to grow hemp for commercial purposes, you have to first register with your city or county agricultural commissioner. You can register yourself annually. Registration applications are available online and otherwise. So, ensure that you check-in with the state authorities for the same.
Labeling and Testing Provisions
Until the CFDA comes up with new regulations, the labeling rules remain pretty much the same as before. The California Department of Public Health has a clear set of rules regarding the labeling of marijuana and hemp products. These rules clearly indicate that the products must contain THC: CBD ratio labels. Along with it, the labels must have the date of manufacturer, expiration, ingredients list, and product origin. Any false information on the product label can lead to serious consequences.
Coming to the testing requirements: Hemp growers can legally grow large amounts of hemp. However, they must first submit THC concentration samples (0.3%) 30 days prior to the harvest season. In addition to this, the hemp grower has to submit the registration no. along with address, and plant details. Once you fill the application properly and your sample is received, it will go under a lab test. The testing lab must be ISO and IEC accredited. They should also use an approved method to analyze the value of THC in the hemp plant. If your hemp plant fails to pass the test, the crop will be immediately destroyed. On the contrary, if you pass the test, you can sell, manufacture, and create hemp-derived products legally.