It is an exciting time in the US for those that want to use CBD products. Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the hemp plant, which is kin to but not the same as marijuana. Since the Hemp Farming Bill was passed in 2018, it is legal to use, sell, and possess CBD products on a federal level as long as they contain 0.3% THC or less. While Hemp is high in CBD and low in THC, Marijuana is higher in THC and lower in CBD. CBD products are legal in the state of Florida.
The United States Department of Agriculture has been given the responsibility for maintaining rules and regulations when it comes to quality and safety standards. The FDA has to power over regulating CBD labeling and marketing, as an additive to food products, and any claims as to therapeutic properties. CBD products are legal nationwide to be sold in oils, tinctures, topicals, and some food edibles as long as it comes from hemp and has the standard 0.3% or less of THC.
What Is CBD Used For?
Many people that already use CBD products swear by their effectiveness when it comes to treating certain mental and physical conditions. There have been numerous studies done that appear to support these claims, but new studies are being conducted all of the time to verify the claims unconditionally.
Among the things that CBD products are believed to be helped are inflammation, anxiety, pain, PTSD, and many more ailments.
Why Is CBD Sometimes Illegal?
For many years marijuana carried a stigma because it was thought that is was very addictive and all marijuana would cause a person to be intoxicated. This is basically what the 1970 Federal Controlled Substance Act stated. This belief changed when the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was passed. After many years of misinformation on the subject, it was finally realized that the hemp plant and the marijuana plant are not the same despite the fact they are both from the same family of cannabis Sativa.
The hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, contains as little as 0.3% THC, while marijuana contains more THC. Hemp is higher in CBD and marijuana is lower. Hemp generally contains as little as 0.3% THC and today marijuana can contain as much as 30% THC. That’s much higher than it had in the 1960s and 70s! The reason the THC content is so important is because of the high. If you have a 0.3% THC content, you won’t get high. If the THC content is upwards of 20% to 30%, you definitely will. When the differences between THC levels in hemp and marijuana were confirmed, it led to hemp being removed from the Schedule I category of controlled substances.
This was historic because CBD products derived from hemp were now legalized nationwide as long as they contained 0.3% THC or less. Even though the federal limit of THC in CBD products is 0.3% or less, this amount could be allowed to be more in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. However, this does not mean that CBD products are not still heavily regulated by the federal government.
On the other hand, the 2018 Hemp Farming Act did give states an individual right to enlist their own laws regarding the distribution and sale of CBD products to a certain extent. Every state can decide if they want to allow hemp cultivation or not. States can also determine the regulations concerning THC amounts in food, cosmetics, topicals, and dietary supplements involving CBD even if it is not the same as federal standards. This is because some states have existing medical marijuana programs, while others may not.
Prior CBD Laws In Florida
Florida has not always been a state that was friendly to cannabis. Hemp was illegal in Florida as it was in many states. However, on the 20th of March, 2014, the House of Representatives of the state passed a measure to attempt to stop the prosecution of anyone found with a CBD oil that was low in THC. This was defined as a product with more than 15% CBD and less than 0.5% THC. This measure was designed to halt the prosecution of people that suffered from seizures, even though they were only a small fraction of CBD users in Florida. It was called the Limited Use Act.
Things did get confusing with CBD laws in Florida when the Farm Bill came into being the same year and CBD products were made legally on a federal level. Like many states, before the Farm Bill, Florida law did not make a difference between marijuana and hemp. Hemp products were just as illegal as marijuana was. The Florida Department of Agriculture actually stated that the sale of CBD products was just as unlawful as the sale of marijuana.
In 2016, Amendment 2 was introduced to the legislature that legalized medical cannabis in Florida. However, conditions that included cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, and more were only for those over 21 years of age. Potential patients were expected to have a doctor visit to obtain approval before obtaining a medical marijuana card.
Current CBD Laws In Florida
Florida is one of many states that have an active medical marijuana program so those patients that are registered and approved may have access to CBD products that has a higher level of THC than those that are not. The general rule is that of the federal status which is the CBD product must be 0.3% or less in THC content for anyone that is not registered as a medical marijuana patient.
Florida Licensing Requirements For Hemp
In 2019 Florida approved a hemp commercialization law that was regulated by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). The program for hemp cultivation was introduced in 2020 and included the release of hemp cultivation licenses.
This means that an application must be submitted and approved before a license can be given for growing hemp in the state. Licensed growers will have ongoing responsibilities such as submitting samples for THC testing. Also included are crop harvests and environmental containment.
With that said, as part of the hemp growing process, applicants will be required to complete a background check before being approved. Potential hemp growers are also required to have a hemp containment and transportation plan in place.