If you are looking for a state where marijuana has been legalized, it’s definitely not Alabama. While many states have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes, Alabama’s laws concerning cannabis remain quite strict with severe penalties. If you are caught in possession of even a small amount of marijuana in the state you could be facing as long as one year in jail and a fine of up $15,000. This applies to CBD products containing too much THC as well, although the penalties might not be as severe as they might be if you are caught with marijuana plant material.
The US Department of Agriculture has the authority when it comes to maintaining rules and regulations concerning the quality and safety standards of CBD. The FDA holds the authority over marketing and regulating labeling, additives to food products, and therapeutic claims when it comes to CBD products.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD has become an extremely popular way for some to treat themselves for a variety of medical issues, both mental and physical. Research is being conducted as to the effectiveness of CBD and will need to be completely studied before real medical claims can be made. However, CBD has been shown in some studies to have a number of therapeutic benefits when it comes to relieveing things like inflammation, seizures, pain, anxiety, and more.
Why Is CBD Sometimes Illegal?
Thje difference between hemp and marijuana is the high. Hemp does not get you high because is has such a small tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, while marijuana contains a lot of THC and does make you high. In the past, hemp and marijuana were both illegal because it was thought that either could lead to addiction according to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act.
The Hemp Farming Act legalized the cultivation of hemp in 2018. After hemp was determined to not get you high and contains 0.3% THC or less, it was removed from the Schedule I category. Hemp is now defined differently than marijuana and declassified as a controlled substance. Because of the THC content, CBD derived from marijuana is still considered illegal federally, but is legal in states where marijuana has been legalized.
It is to be noted that CBD products derived from hemp are still highly regulated by the federal government. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 does allow each state to have their own laws and regulations regarding sales and distribution of hemp products. States reserve the right to restrict and even prohibit the cultivation and commerce of hemp products. Despite the rules the FDA has laid out, states can oversee the regulation of dietary supplements, foods, beverages, and cosmetic products that contain hemp.
Prior CBD Laws In Alabama
Even before the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD products derived from hemp that contain no more than 0.3% THC on a federal level, Alabama introduced Carly’s Law in 2014. Carly’s Law allowed the University of Alabama to pursue a limited study with CBD oils to treat seizures in a small number of patients. Although the law ended on July 1, 2019, it was renewed until July 1, 2020.
In 2016 Leni’s Law was introduced that allowed trace amounts of THC in CBD oils as long as it did not exceed 0.3% THC. Under those conditions, a person could use CBD oils to treat epilepsy symptoms that were severe and other conditions. In this regard, the state did allow the use of CBD oil under certain circumstances even before it was legalized federally.
Alabama Licensing Requirements For Hemp
With the passing of the 2018 Hemp Farming Act hemp growers have applied for the growing rights all over the country. Alabama is no exception when it comes to growing hemp crops. It is only legal if you have been approved as a licensed grower, processor, handler, or university under the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research and Pilot Program.
Current CBD Law In Alabama
According to the latest information available concerning the legality of CBD oil and other products in the state of Alabama, it seems to follow federal guidelines. There are no possession limits on CBD in Alabama as long as the product comes from hemp and contains no more than the federal limit of 0.03% THC. However, the possession of any CBD product that exceeds 0.03% THC content is considered a misdemeanor which can be punished by up to one year of jail time and a maximum fine that could be as much as 6,000.