by Jay Hartenbach
January 6, 2019
You most likely know that cannabis is an illegal substance at the federal level, at least as far as “The Man” is concerned here in the good ‘ol US of A.
DISCLAIMER: We’re not lawyers, and we don’t pretend to be one on TV. The information in this guide is for educational purposes only and is based on our personal opinions and interpretation of the law as it stands at the time of writing. Laws and regulations are always in a constant state of flux and may change at any given time. If you have questions regarding your specific use case with CBD oil, we suggest reaching out to your own legal counsel for advice. Like your momma should have told you, it’s better to be safe than sorry…especially when it comes to matters of the law.
Here in the states, it is classified as an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means, that even though some states have made marijuana legal to a varying degree, with some having legalized it for recreational use and some having legalized it for medical use, it’s still Federally illegal to transport cannabis in any form across state lines.
Doing so is considered a felony tracking offense. This also applies to sending cannabis in the mail. In fact, sending cannabis through the mail can lead to getting a prison sentence of up to five years just for the first time offense.
That said, over the last few years you’ve probably seen frequent advertisements or heard of companies that will ship CBD oil right to your home or residence regardless if you live in New York or Colorado (i.e. states where recreational or medical cannabis is legal).
These companies say that they can ship CBD oil across state lines, but what gives? For people who live in places where marijuana is still illegal, being able to get CBD oil in the mail from the internet might seem like a gift. But, you might be wondering if doing so is actually legal, and whether or not placing an order can get you in trouble on the receiving end.
It’s worth taking a closer look at what is going on here. Read on to learn more…
Can Cannabis or CBD oil be mailed through USPS?
Cannabis is a plant with a number of “relatives”, including the lesser discussed but highly relevant Hemp plant. Hemp is unique in that it does not produce THC in levels that could cause a psychoactive effect or “high”, and it is used for a great many different things, from lotions, to plastics and paper.
We bring hemp up because it IS legal to ship and send industrial hemp across the country. While CBD content of hemp is also low, this product can be also be used to produce high-quality CBD oils with naturally low THC levels that fall below the legal standard for scrutiny. Current legislation prescribes that oils must contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC to be considered “legal”.
Hemp is a product that can be useful to make many things, and it is quite versatile. But, it’s actually not all that easy to use hemp to create CBD oil, even though it’s not impossible.
More About Hemp
Companies make and process large amounts of industrial hemp. This process sometimes leverages harsh chemicals to extract the CBD oil. Techniques such as cold pressing are used to create hemp seed oil, but this method is not very useful for the production of CBD oil, which comes from the seed and stalk of the plant.
Another problem with many CBD oils on the market is that there isn’t a lot of quality control going on. Since the substance is in a grey area of legality, there aren’t federal guidelines that have to be met. This means some of these products could also contain things like metals, pesticides, or other chemicals and the person buying the product wouldn’t even know about it.
Because of this, it is increasingly important to purchase your CBD from a reputable manufacturer, and ideally, one that proactively and voluntarily does third-party testing on their product line to ensure safety, quality and potency.
More About Pesticides and CBD
Because these products aren’t subjected to regulations, it’s pretty difficult to know how much CBD a product actually contains and if it is being labeled correctly. Some of these products could also contain leftover chemicals used in the extraction or refining process.
In 2015, the FDA released a warning to companies who were making claims about medical uses for CBD oil. In the letter, they say that these products have not been proven or recognized to be safe or effective most of the time. This warning also says that these companies need to not make medical claims as this could be giving misleading information to consumers.
CBD oil might seem like a miracle product, but be careful that you aren’t being sold snake oil. There is still a lot of testing and research that needs to be done, and there is also a lack of oversight and regulations. So, in general, you should move forward with caution when using these products.
Is CBD oil even legal?
Last December, the Drug Enforcement Administration ruled that CBD oil is illegal. This rule came out under the “Establishment of New Drug Code for Marijuana Extract.” This rule cleared things up about legality, but people weren’t going down without a fight.
The Hemp Industries Association and other companies joined together to fight back against the law. They asked the court to look over the ruling, saying that it was unconstitutional as well as arbitrary. This brief accused the DEA of not acting in accordance with protocol. The DEA then responded looking to have the lawsuit dismissed.
More recently, the newly drafted Farm Bill has set the stage for nationwide legality of CBD. However, as previously mentioned, you’ll want to check with your state’s specific laws to ensure compliance.
As of now, CBD is Technically Illegal – but only in certain states
As it stands, cannabis and by association, CBD with a THC concentration higher than 0.3% is illegal at the Federal level. However, there are currently three states where CBD is legal even though cannabis is not: Idaho, Nebraska and S. Dakota.
Another 10 states have legalized cannabis:
And another 23 states have legalized “medical” marijuana including:
The hemp industry is getting bigger and bigger. In the year 2016, it was an industry worth over $688 million. Part of the sales of the industry come from CBD oils. Products derived from the cannabis plant are still being developed, and the rules and regulations on these products are likely to change and shift in the future.
So, whether or not shipping CBD-oil that is derived from up is still a little bit of a grey area. Especially in states where weed is illegal, it’s probably best to not order CBD oil.
The more important question is whether or not you should order these oils at all. It’s best to think about the decision and consider the risks and that these products are not completely legal or regulated.