CBD Oil is now federally legal in the United States!
Here is a state by state breakdown of CBD's legal status.
Legal (under .3% THC)
Legal (0% THC)
Introduced to the house in February 2021, H.R. 841 would ensure that hemp-derived CBD could be legally marketed as a dietary supplement. This bill would require CBD manufacturers to comply with the existing regulatory guidelines for dietary supplements, which guarantees that the products are safe, correctly labeled, and made under GMP (as Ananda already is).
Passage of H.R. 841 would also stabilize the hemp industry by opening up promising economic opportunities for United States agriculture - as well as honoring the commitment made to farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Please go here to enter you information, which allows you to email a member of congress with a pre-populated message. If you know anyone else who's down with the cause, have them send an email too!
1698 would ensure that hemp-derived CBD (and other non-intoxicating hemp ingredients) can be legally marketed as dietary supplements and food/beverage additives. This would also require CBD and hemp extract product manufacturers to comply with the existing (and comprehensive) regulatory framework for food and dietary supplements, which ensures that the products are deemed safe, properly labeled, and prepared utilizing Good Manufacturing Practices (Ananda Hemp is extracted and bottled in a cGMP facility).
Failing to establish a regulatory pathway for legal hemp-derived CBD will continue to minimize economic opportunities for US hemp farmers while also denying consumers access to safe and high quality products. S. 1698 would help stabilize the hemp markets, open up more economic opportunity for US agriculture and honor the commitment made to growers in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Delta-8 THC: The New Legal Gray Area Cannabinoid
Delta-9 is not the only type of THC, nor the only type with psychoactive effects. Delta-8 and delta-9 contain double bonds, yet delta-8 has the bond on the eighth carbon chain, whereas delta-9 has it on the ninth - hence the names.
There are distinct differences between the two, though. Unlike CBD (which is renowned for its lack of intoxicating effects), delta-8 is just the opposite. Delta-8 is psychoactive, similar to delta-9, only much less so. “Weed Light” may be the best way to think about delta-8.
Delta-8 can produce euphoria, relaxation, stimulation, and appetite stimulation - as well as a heady psychedelic experience. While delta-8 has all these effects to varying degrees, it does so with much less intensity than delta-8. The benefit, supposedly, is a reduced risk of unpleasant side effects like paranoia and anxiety.
While all these differences may seem somewhat insignificant, they radically alter how delta-8 is handled in a regulatory sense. In the U.S., being derived from hemp and an absence of delta-9 may put delta-8 in the same legal class as CBD products. It is worth noting that much of the current supply of delta-8 is produced synthetically - creating yet another legal grey area.
It is a confusing situation, as in the 2018 Farm Bill, any cannabinoid derived from hemp is exempt from the Controlled Substances Act.
However, as you can see here, Delta-8-THC is specifically listed as a Schedule I controlled substance.
Delta-8 THC legal status
Would you be surprised to know you’ve likely already ingested delta-8 if you’ve tried CBD? Delta-8 is a naturally occurring metabolite of CBD and occurs innately in hemp (although in negligible amounts). Some states have begun taking independent action to regulate the sales of Delta-8:
The Illinois House of Representatives passed a measure in mid-April that would regulate Delta-8-THC.
State Representative Bob Morgan (the lead sponsor for the bill), says Delta-8
“presents a public health crisis. Thousands of people in Illinois are buying products labeled as CBD, delta-8 or other hemp derivatives without any way of being sure what these products contain. Some may not contain any CBD or hemp at all.”
Kentucky’s agriculture department recently clarified that Delta-8 is a controlled substance.
In a letter to Kentucky hemp license holders, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles responded to inquiries by stating that
“...distributing products containing Delta-8 is illegal, and distributing such products could lead to your expulsion from the Hemp Licensing Program as well as potential exposure to criminal prosecution. Because Delta-8 THC is a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, it remains a Schedule I controlled substance under state law.”
A bill proposed in April would immediately ban Delta-8 THC. However, the state’s hemp industry is asking lawmakers to consider regulations that won’t ban Delta-8 for patients using it for health purposes.
A recently introduced measure in the House would regulate Delta-8 and allow the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to set potency limits on synthetic cannabinoids (which Delta-8 is - sometimes) and clarify testing requirements for consumable products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids.
State regulators in Vermont also recently reminded residents about the legal status of Delta-8.
In an April 23 email to registered hemp growers, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Farms and Markets said Delta-8 products are not legal under its published state rules, which state that
“processors are prohibited from using synthetic cannabinoids in the production of any hemp product or hemp-infused products.”
Meaning that creating Delta-8 products in Vermont would violate state law.
Lab-created hemp products are temporarily banned in Washington, pending further discussion about whether federal drug law applies to compounds such as Delta-8-THC.
The WLCB said April 29 that it would work with companies producing and selling cannabis products through a formal rule-making process that will begin this month.
The ban was inspired partially by safety concerns from the lack of mandatory testing standards, as well as potency/concentration limits.
The state’s licensed marijuana growers also requested the prohibition of Delta-8 products, saying they were being forced out of the market by cheaper (and illegal) cannabinoid products.
The ban on Delta-8, new since the health department first proposed the rules last year, comes from a line stating that hemp-derived cannabinoid products
“may not contain synthetic cannabinoids, or cannabinoids created through isomerization, including Delta-8-THC.”
State lawmakers have approved a round of bills requiring Delta-8 (along with other intoxicants that mimic a cannabis high) to be regulated by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
The Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee unanimously approved the bills, which now advance to the full House for a vote.
Also, know that you can still fail a drug test from using delta-8, as the tests look for any THC metabolite.
USDA Final Hemp Rules
U.S. Department of Agriculture policy makers released final hemp production rules last week in the Trump Administration's closing days.
Public remarks from farmers and industry insiders influenced these new changes to the interim hemp rules (created in 2019) and will take effect as of March 22, 2021. However, the new Biden Administration will likely reevaluate the law.
Although modifications provide some relief for farmers regarding disposal, THC negligence, and the harvest window after sampling, there remain numerous areas of concern that the USDA failed to acknowledge or act on - such as sampling requirements and the requirement for testing labs to register with the DEA.
It is undeniably a huge step forward to have enhanced clarity on cultivation, testing, and compliance.
As with all new regulations, there are pros and cons. It's crucial to remember that this is simply the next iterative step in our collective journey with hemp.
Fresh incoming leaders at the USDA, continually evolving state laws, and increasing acceptance for cannabis at large all but guarantees support for our industry will continue to grow and develop. As can be seen clearly with the FDA, the sector's rapid growth far outpaces the government's regulatory abilities.
Where Are We Now?
While the legalization of hemp was incredibly exciting, it was long overdue and only the beginning of a long process. CBD manufacturers are eager to receive guidelines from the FDA on how they can legally market hemp and CBD.
Since the FDA has officially classified CBD as a drug, it cannot currently be used in dietary supplements. However, the FDA's strict stance on going after companies making health claims is easy to understand - to quote Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the FDA:
"Patients may be misled to forgo otherwise effective, available therapy and opt instead for a product that has no proven value or may cause them serious harm."
Yet, ironically, this is precisely why the current laws must change. If CBD is allowed to be marketed and regulated as a dietary supplement, all those unscrupulous vendors selling contaminated or ineffective products will immediately disappear from the industry.
Presently, there are no regulations in place, allowing a multitude of companies to deceive consumers and sell low-quality (sometimes dangerous) CBD products. Dr. Gottleib claims that he "gets asked at almost every Capitol Hill meeting [about CBD]”, and as such, we can only hope that change and clarity are coming very soon.
Current FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn has also stated historically that his agency is working to move forwards with creating CBD regulations. Hahn is quoted as saying:
"We’re not going to be able to say you can’t use these products. It’s a fool’s errand to even approach that. We have to be open to the fact that there might be some value to these products, and certainly Americans think that’s the case. But we want to get them information to make the right decisions."
Recent Legal History of Hemp and CBD
Agricultural Act of 2014: Farm Bill Sets the Stage for Hemp Legalization
Signed by former President Barack Obama on February 7th, 2014, the 2014 Farm Bill established a clear distinction between hemp and marijuana (hemp contains less than .3% THC by dry weight). Additionally, it authorized higher education institutions or state departments of agriculture (in states where hemp was legal) to conduct pilot programs and research - Ananda Hemp was born out of these pilot programs, which helped pioneer the CBD industry in the U.S.
The purpose of this was to determine whether or not growing hemp would be beneficial for American farmers and businesses. While CBD was still far from being federally legal at this point, rights to legally grow and distribute hemp/CBD were granted to a handful of pilot companies to essentially test the market.
We were one of the first companies to receive licensing to grow hemp in Kentucky, and the first to be granted permission from the DEA to import live cannabis seeds for planting.
Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Hemp Becomes Federally Legal
Former President Donald Trump signed this bill on December 20th, 2018, and legalized hemp (defined the same as in the 2014 Farm Bill) on a federal level, therefore removing it from DEA regulation and making it an agricultural commodity. Also, CBD (as long as it's from hemp - not marijuana) was removed from Schedule I status, and moved down to Schedule V (defined as having a low potential for abuse and dependence).
However, this legality only applies to hemp grown in the United States under strict supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is an important distinction, as any CBD products on the market containing imported hemp from foreign countries are not legal.
Additionally, this bill grants the power to states and Native American tribes to enact their own laws regarding the production and sale of hemp within their borders. However, they may not restrict the shipment or transportation of hemp within their jurisdiction.
At Ananda Professional, we are grateful to have played a central role in the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, beginning with the founding of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. We maintained a consistent presence in Washington D.C., educating congressmen and policy-makers on the benefits of hemp.
In 2018, a congressman visited our facility in Kentucky, holding a press event that was central to the passing of this revolutionary bill.
Legal Status of CBD in Sports: WADA
The World Anti-Doping Agency announced it won't test for CBD starting in January 2018. Synthetics will still be investigated, but this was an excellent PR move for the good name of CBD. While not all professional sports report to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the international reach of the Agency makes this decision something significant.
How did this CBD rule change impact the UFC?
The decision immediately impacted the UFC world. While the most flexible with regards to supplements in the major league sports world, the UFC has treated CBD with kiddy gloves.
The reason being is that if a certain product can help athletes recover to have more fights, then it makes sense from a business standpoint to allow it. But, what does that mean to an international agency trying to set a community standard?
WADA and the Fight Against Drugs in Sports
The World Anti-Doping Agency was founded by the International Olympic Committee as a means of coordinating and monitoring the fight against drugs in sports.
While it has done well in developing countries, its impact has been mitigated by professionals sports in Europe and North America. The National Football League has gone out of its way to keep WADA out of testing its players. Their point of contention had to deal with WADA wanting to test for HGH.
Fixing the Prohibited Drugs Lists Made Things Fair
Then, there's the matter of TUE (therapeutic use exemptions). American Olympians from Simone Biles to Michael Phelps had previously been granted a TUE by WADA. While the matter of which nation's athletes were granted TUEs had been a sore spot for many countries, prohibited item changes have been adopted by WADA to solve any claims of bias.
The Path Forward for CBD and Athletes
Specific sports and events that participate under the IOC and WADA's guidance now have some leeway under the annually published guidelines. Given the acceptance of CBD by the World Anti-Doping Agency, it was assumed that the amount of TUEs granted will decrease. But, all sports fans will have to wait and see.
Botanical Safety Consortium
Announced in February 2019 by former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the purpose of the Botanical Safety Consortium is to gather leading minds from the industry, academia, consumer-interest groups, non-profits, and the government to further scientific advances in determining how to better evaluate the safety and efficacy of botanical ingredients in dietary supplements.
This new collaborative group was likely created in part after the FDA tested a variety of CBD products - and found a complete absence of cannabinoids. Worse yet, they found heavy metal and pesticide contaminations in some. This concern is why we always publish our Certificates of Analysis directly on our website. At Ananda Professional, our loyalty is to customer safety, quality, and transparency.
SAFE Banking Act of 2019
Passing through the House of Representatives on September 25th, 2019, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act proposes to "...generally prohibit a federal banking regulator from penalizing a depository institution for providing banking services to a legitimate marijuana-related business."
Mainly, it would ensure that banks would not be held liable for facilitating financial transactions for CBD/hemp businesses. It would also mandate the Federal Reserve and FDIC to give clear guidelines to financial institutions about the legality of hemp commerce (both of which have been significant obstacles for hemp companies since the passing of the 2014 Farm Bill).
Unfortunately, this bill faces an uphill battle going through the senate, as many have voiced legitimate concerns, such as Mike Crapo, chairman of the Senate committee on banking:
"Significant concerns remain that the SAFE Banking Act does not address the high-level potency of marijuana, marketing tactics to children, lack of research on marijuana's effects, and the need to prevent bad actors and cartels from using the banks to disguise ill-gotten cash to launder money into the financial system."
Interim Final Rule
On October 31st, 2019, the USDA published the Interim Final Rule designed to establish the Domestic Hemp Production Program. The IFR formed the foundation of what will be testing and licensing protocols, eligibility rules for federal programs, seed certification programs, importing/exporting hemp, and production compliance - as well as the procedures for the USDA to approve each of these plans.
While the IFR was an excellent step towards creating the infrastructure and guidelines for overall hemp production in the U.S., it had a frustrating absence of any stipulations regarding the sale and marketing of hemp/CBD products. Countless CBD companies are bursting at the seams with exciting and innovative ideas for products containing CBD - and are eager for the FDA to get on the ball with policy making.