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CBD’s Legal Status in the United States in 2021

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CBD, and cannabis-derived products, are the focus of many legislative bills across the US. Legality varies from one jurisdiction to another, but there’s a surge in many states and cities legalizing CBD. It is a burgeoning industry with a ton of new businesses eager to enter the market. One such company, Phytoextractum is leading the way with its advocacy efforts.

Hemp and the 2018 Farm Bill

CBD, found in both marijuana and hemp, can thank the 2018 Farm Bill for the rise in CBD products. Hemp has been made legal, and it cannot contain more than 0.3% THC, so there’s no concern of getting high.

On the federal level, hemp is legal.

The legislation requires that the state monitor and regulate the production of hemp. States must seek USDA approval before hemp can be grown by farmers or others outside of pilot programs found in:

  • State Department of Agriculture
  • Higher education institutions

CBD products are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meaning that the products must not be marketed with unapproved claims.

CBD legalisation on the local and state level

The Farm Bill allows states to legalise hemp, so if a state doesn’t legalise hemp, it overrides the federal law. CBD is not legal in all 50 states. States have their own Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which, under normal circumstances, would follow the federal CSA.

States must, however, change the definition of hemp for it to be legal.

CBD legality by US states

  • Alabama has allowed, to some extent, CBD to be used for certain conditions since 2014. Products must be sold by a licensed vendor. 
  • Alaska laws permit the use of CBD if it comes from hemp.
  • Arizona’s Senate Bill 1098 makes it legal for the production and cultivation of hemp.
  • Arkansas permits the use of hemp CBD, with guidelines aligned by the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • California allows for the sale and possession of CBD for anyone 21 or older,
  • Colorado is one of the most progressive states, allowing for the sale of CBD and the use of hemp as a food additive.
  • Connecticut’s Senate Bill 893 legalizes CBD.
  • Delaware allows for the widespread purchase of CBD.
  • Florida allows for CBD oil to be used along with higher THC levels for medicinal purposes.
  • Georgia allows for the sale of CBD under HB 213.
  • Hawaii’s law prohibits the use of CBD in food, cosmetics and beverages.
  • Idaho’s law allows CBD to be used if it contains 0% THC and comes from hemp.
  • Illinois allows for the sale of CBD under SB 2298.
  • Indiana’s CBD laws align with federal guidelines.
  • Iowa allows for the purchase, manufacturing and possession of CBD under 2021 DIA rules.
  • Kansas allows for the purchase and usage of CBD if it contains no THC.
  • Kentucky allows for the possession and purchase of CBD, but not in flower form.
  • Louisiana allows for the use and purchase of CBD if sourced by industrial hemp.
  • Maine’s LD 630 aligns the state’s laws with federal laws.
  • Maryland allows for the use of hemp-derived CBD with 0.3% THC or less.
  • Massachusetts is still evaluating the use of hemp CBD, although it’s legal to purchase in some circumstances.
  • Michigan allows for both CBD from cannabis and hemp within federal limits.
  • Minnesota allows CBD for anyone 18 and older, but must meet M.S. 151.72 rules.
  • Mississippi laws allow for CBD from hemp with a ratio of 20:1 CBD/THC.
  • Missouri laws align with federal laws.
  • Montana’s Senate Bill 341 makes it legal to buy and sell hemp CBD.
  • Nebraska’s Hemp Farming Act aligns with federal guidelines.
  • Nevada allows for the use of CBD with 0.3% THC or less.
  • New Hampshire proposed new laws for CBD under House Bill 272, although usage remains a gray area.
  • New Jersey requires licensing for the growth and process of industrial hemp. NJ A1330 makes CBD requirements the same as the federal level.
  • New Mexico requires the person to be 18 or older to buy and use CBD with less than 0.3% THC.
  • New York aligns with federal laws, and anyone 18 or older can purchase CBD products.
  • North Carolina allows for the sale of CBD under a pilot program.
  • North Dakota follows federal laws under H.B. 1349.
  • Ohio allows for CBD oil for sale if it aligns with federal guidelines.
  • Oklahoma requires retailers to be licensed to sell CBD, but it is legal.
  • Oregon allows for the use of CBD.
  • Pennsylvania allows for usage under the Agricultural Act.
  • Rhode Island’s Hemp Growth Act allows for hemp to be used with less than 0.3% THC.
  • South Carolina laws align with federal guidelines.
  • South Dakota is working on CBD laws, with a 2019 law vetoed by the governor.
  • Tennessee allows for CBD from both hemp and cannabis, with higher THC levels of .6% to .9%.
  • Texas aligns with federal laws but allows for up to .5% THC for medicinal purposes.
  • Utah follows federal guidelines under House Bill 3001.
  • Vermont allows for CBD usage, but not as a food or beverage additive.
  • Virginia allows for CBD products to be used within the 0.3% THC guidelines.
  • Washington allows for the sale of CBD at retailers, although it bans hemp-derived CBD from food and beverage goods.
  • West Virginia has allowed CBD from hemp to be used since 2002.
  • Wisconsin residents 18 and older can legally use CBD.
  • Wyoming lawmakers made usage legal within federal guidelines.

CBD laws are evolving in many states, but most allow for the sale and cultivation of hemp-derived CBD.


Peter Wallace did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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