Feb 5th – New York, NY
City officials ordered restaurants to stop adding CBD to its food products. Stores have already had their CBD consumables embargoed, and more restrictions are yet to come. A DOH Spokesperson told Inverse “Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat,”. While unlabeled CBD food products were targeted first, it appears they’ll be going after CBD edibles whether they contain a nutritional label or not.1
Feb 11th – Boise, ID
Court hearings ensue over 7,000 pounds of industrial hemp seized by the Idaho State Police. The shipment was on its way to Colorado when it ran into issues. Even though industrial hemp is legal at a federal level, state laws are making things confusing even for lawmakers. Idaho has some of the strictest CBD regulations making it virtually impossible to possess or sell CBD in the state.2
Feb 23rd – Sarasota, FL
The Sarasota State Police Department puts a temporary hold on it’s efforts to crack down on CBD. The hold is only in place until the Police Chief signs off on the cease and desist letter that will be issued to CBD retailers. In response to public complaints about consumers getting sick after consuming CBD products, efforts have begun to restrict sales in this area to licensed dispensaries.3
March 4th – Columbus, OH
Highway patrol seizes $165,000 in CBD oil being transported in a U-Haul truck. It’s unclear the exact reason the cannabidiol was seized.4
What does this mean for the future of CBD?
I want to make this abundantly clear that I am no expert in law, let alone the laws surrounding controlled substances. The information in this article should not be considered legal advice, only observations based on industry experience.
With the passing of the Farm Bill many CBD advocates exhaled a huge breath of relief, but the abatement didn’t last long. With all the legal advances in the cannabis industry over the last few years these most recent crackdowns have people more worried than ever… but how bad is it? If we look back to before the farm bill passed, you won’t notice too much of a difference.
State and federal agencies were still seizing shipments of CBD products at a relatively similar pace before the Farm Bill passed, but it was much less surprising since the legality of these products differed from state to state and were blurred into a grey area. The passing of the farm bill should have cleared a few of these issues up but has only made it more complicated. People are transporting CBD products or industrial hemp assuming, rightly so, that the federal government has their backs and supports their efforts. What people fail to realize is state laws have been much slower to change, and CBD is still illegal in certain states. For example, the Idaho incident where 7,000 pounds of industrial hemp was seized.
Even though the hemp was bound for Colorado, where CBD is legal at a state level, Idaho has much more strict regulations. While generally anything under 0.3% THC is legal, Idaho recognizes anything above 0.00% THC as a controlled substance. Not only that but it must have been cultivated from a plant not defined as “marijuana” under Idaho code 37-2701(t), which in short declares about 95% or more of CBD products as a controlled substance as far as we can tell.
With these new laws in place many people see the same dilemma; can you transport a federally legal substance across state lines where the product is illegal? Well, in the past the answer has been yes. Think about the 21st amendment and how it affects prohibition. Even in dry counties where hard liquor or even beer consumption is illegal, you’ll notice distilleries and liquor manufacturers that set up shop knowing their product can never legally be consumed in that area. Now the 21st amendment was specific to intoxicating liquors but it’s a good example of how our government would deal with cannabis in a dream world.
Where do we go from here?
To be completely honest the biggest hurdle we have to overcome is time. States like Idaho need to come up with new legislation in response to the Farm Bill to clearly define its relationship with hemp in the future. There are a few things you should be thinking about yourself if you’re selling CBD.
Get politically active. Find out what the laws are in your state regarding CBD, and if they aren’t favorable talk with your lawmakers and politicians to see what can be done. Make groups or movements to push for CBD laws on your next ballet.
Only carry legitimate products. Be careful of generic, non-tested CBD that could contain above the required legal threshold and turn possession or sales into a felony. We as sellers of CBD can certainly help set a standard and prevent a lot of what the FDA and DOH are worried about.
Don’t make unsubstantiated claims. The FDA has only evaluated one CBD pharmaceutical and that’s Epidiolex. It’s used, quite successfully, for the treatment of seizures. It’s also being prescribed for off-label use which is the practice of doctors prescribing drugs to treat conditions outside of the ones it is approved for. This practice is legal and common, but you cannot market CBD for any purpose outside of what the federal government has approved. SVBS
Joshua Warihay started with Vapor Outlet in 2015 before the company merged with Windship Trading. In his first year he sold half a million dollars in product working part time as a sales representative. He now heads up the marketing department as Windship’s Marketing Manager and looks forward to using his position to set a new standard in the industry. For inquiries please email [email protected] or call 512-216-6281 x306.