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Is Hemp Legal? Everything You Need to Know

Is hemp legal? Or is hemp illegal? If you’re asking yourself these questions, perhaps you’re considering using hemp as a medicinal product for health and wellness. Or perhaps you’re considering embarking on a hemp-related wholesale endeavor. Whatever the case—you don’t want your interest in the compound to lead you into murky legal waters.

Let's discuss the answers to these questions, and delve into some useful information for navigating the (at times) tricky nature of hemp legality. 

Is hemp legal? The skinny

Short answer: yes! Absolutely. Traditionally, and often times today, hemp is lumped into the same legal millieu as marijuana. Chemically, though, marijuana and hemp are vastly different—and the legislation surrounding hemp has finally caught up with science. 

Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant (Cannabis sativa). But while marijuana contains relatively high levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), hemp must contain less than 0.3% of THC to be considered legal. CBD (cannabidiol), which is a non-psychoactive compound, comprises the overwhelming majority of hemp.

Because THC is psychoactive, and CBD isn’t, using hemp medicinally gives patients the ability to get pain relief without the typical “high” associated with cannabis. Hemp has been linked to a substantial number of health benefits, and can be administered, inhaled, or ingested in a variety of forms. Because of the non-toxic nature of the compound, hemp is also completely safe.

All of Curaleaf Hemp’s natural, non-intoxicating CBD products are made from 100% home-grown and home-processed hemp plants; and our wide variety of options—from tinctures, to disposable vape pens, to lotions—suit a wide variety of ailments and experience levels.

The Farm Bill

The Farm Bill, passed in December 2018, was a landmark moment in the battle for hemp legality. CBD had long been classified as a Schedule I compound at the federal level—that meant it was up to the states to decide whether or not they would allow the sale and consumption of CBD.

The Farm Bill allows the free transfer of hemp and hemp-derived products across state lines “for commercial or other purposes.” That means that if you were to purchase a medicinal hemp product, and you wanted to take it on a domestic vacation, you’re completely within your rights to bring that product across state lines.

The Farm Bill also put the kibosh on any restrictions related to the sale, transport, or possession of hemp (provided that the product is manufactured legally). So if you’re inclined to store up on a bunch of CBD for the long winter, you should feel comfortable doing so.

Basically, if you’re a person that is purchasing and using hemp medicinally, you need no longer feel like you’re operating in murky legal waters. The future is bright and clear!

Growing and selling hemp: is it legal?

The legislation surrounding the cultivation and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products is a little less black and white. The Farm Bill didn’t quite create a free and open system for individuals to grow and sell hemp products; at least not in the same way that, say, they might grow and sell herbs and spices.

Any compound that contains greater than 0.3% THC is not considered hemp, and is therefore still not protected under the Farm Bill. Any individual that wants to grow hemp must first be properly licensed. At the state level, states must agree upon and submit a proposal for hemp cultivation, then get that proposal approved by the USDA before commencing production.

Regulations are similarly stringent for CBD. CBD is only protected under the Farm Bill if it is derived from a hemp plant that is produced in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, associated federal regulations, associated state regulations, and by a licensed grower.

As a buyer, this is most likely going to be beyond your purview; the CBD you're buying in stores and online will, in all likelihood, be Farm Bill compliant. But if you are planning on growing or distributing hemp, you’re going to have to jump through a few specific hoops before doing so.

Large steps toward a better future

While commercial regulations are still somewhat strict, the overwhelming majority of hemp consumers will be just that—consumers, not vendors. The Farm Bill represents a large and impactful shift in national hemp legislation; and, in all likelihood, in the conversation around using hemp as a medicinal substance.

More patients than ever are using CBD and hemp products to take health into their own hands. Check out our comprehensive array of hemp products to see how you can start doing the same today.

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