CBD In California
2021 Complete Guide
Is CBD in California Legal?
CA CBD 2021
Although the Golden State has a long and storied history with cannabis policy reform, it still has a long way to go to untangle the confusing and sometimes contradictory California CBD and hemp laws. Is hemp CBD oil legal in California in 2021? What about growing? Can anyone in the state grow hemp? And who can legally sell CBD oil in California? To say that the answer to these questions is complicated would be an understatement. Nonetheless, let’s dive right in and unpack this.
Before we get into the legal aspects of CBD oil in California, let’s quickly go over what it is, how it’s made, and how it’s different than marijuana.
How are hemp and CBD different from Marijuana and THC?
Both marijuana and hemp are cultivars of cannabis. Marijuana produces an intoxicating effect and is used for both medical and recreational use. Hemp, on the other hand, is non-intoxicating. And while hemp, like marijuana, can also be used for medicinal purposes, it has a myriad of additional uses. Its strong fibers are used in textiles and construction materials, while its nutritious seeds are considered a superfood.
When grown for medical use, the flower clusters of the cannabis plant produce an abundance of active compounds called cannabinoids that provide a variety of physical effects. Unlike marijuana which is generally high in THC, the compound responsible for the buzz, hemp, by its legal definition is essentially devoid of THC (maximum THC content of 0.3 percent).
While marijuana and the oils produced from it are still federally illegal, hemp and CBD oil have been legalized at the federal level. However, the US Food and Drug Administration has declared that the use of CBD in foods and beverages is illegal. As a result, California state health officials have banned CBD-infused foods and beverages.
You wouldn’t know that CBD edibles are illegal in California by checking the shelves of retailers in the state. Regardless of the law, quite a few shops in California sell CBD-infused edibles and beverages.
What’s strange is that it appears that while California lawmakers are perfectly willing to defy the US Drug Enforcement Agency and US Department of Justice by making marijuana legal in California, state health officials are unwilling to defy the US Food and Drug administration even though hemp is federally legal. How this situation came to be is a complex matter.
At the time this article was written, attempts to rectify this situation are yet to be successful. However, this could change sometime in 2021 as lawmakers work toward untangling the state’s knotted marijuana and CBD laws.
Now that we have a little background knowledge, let’s get into the details of California hemp and CBD laws.
California hemp CBD oil FAQ | 2021
Is hemp CBD oil legal in California?
As we alluded to above, at the time of writing the answer is, “yes and no.” Yes, it is legal to produce and sell hemp-derived CBD oil in California. But it is technically illegal to add CBD to foods and beverages as well as pet food and farm animal feed.
That being said, the state’s ban on CBD edibles has not stopped shops statewide from selling them. And the state has done little to enforce the rule. This is probably due in part to the fact that both federal and state hemp and CBD regulations are still in a state of flux and there’s no sense in prosecuting someone for a law that could very likely change in the near future. Most experts expect both federal and state CBD laws to be sorted out some time in early 2021.
Can doctors prescribe CBD oil in California?
Technically, no, doctors are not permitted to prescribe CBD oil to their patients. However, they are permitted to prescribe one FDA-approved drug known as Epidiolex for the treatment of certain cases of childhood epilepsy. Epidiolex is essentially purified CBD. CBD oil, however, because there is no standardized formula, cannot get FDA drug approval and therefore cannot be prescribed.
California doctors can, however, recommend CBD oil to their patients. Although health insurance might cover Epidiolex, it does not cover CBD oil, even if it is being used under the state’s medical-marijuana program.
What medical conditions are being treated with CBD oil in California?
Most people who use CBD oil cite conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and pain as their main reasons for using CBD. However, researchers around the globe are studying the effects of CBD on more than 50 medical conditions to determine its safety and efficacy.
Some of the medical conditions being treated with CBD oil in California include:
- ADD & ADHD
- Addiction & Alcoholism
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Colitis & Crohn’s Disease
- Endocrine Disorders
- Epilepsy & Seizures
- Hair Loss
- Heart Disease
- HIV & AIDS
- Huntington’s Disease (HD)
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Mood Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Osteoporosis/Bone Health
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Skin Conditions
- Sleep Disorders
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Weight Loss
Can I legally buy hemp CBD oil online in California?
There are no laws in California against purchasing CBD oil or any other CBD products online. That includes edibles. Although California companies are technically not permitted to produce or sell edibles, it is not illegal for consumers to possess them.
Buying CBD oil online has certain advantages. For one thing, you’ll find a much wider selection of products at some online stores than you might find at a local shop. However, with the good comes the bad. There are a lot of inferior products out there. You really need to do your homework to find a brand that you can trust.
What hemp CBD products are legally available in California?
Although, technically, CBD-infused edibles and beverages are forbidden in California, if you look in the right places you can find just about any CBD product.
And if you can’t find the product you’re looking for you’ll have no trouble finding it online. Here is a list of some of the CBD-infused products available in California:
- CBD Oil
- CBD Tincture
- CBD Capsules
- CBD Tablets
- CBD Lozenges
- CBD Candy
- CBD Edibles
- CBD Beverages
- CBD Coffee
- CBD Tea
- CBD Water
- CBD Ointments
- CBD Salves
- CBD Balms
- CBD Creams
- CBD Lotions
- CBD Sex Lube
- CBD Vape Pens
- CBD Vape Oil
- CBD Vape Additive
- CBD Vape Cartridges
- CBD Dabs
- CBD Concentrates
- CBD Isolate
- CBD Flower
- CBD Full Spectrum
- CBD Organic
Where can I legally buy hemp CBD oil in California?
CBD oil produced from hemp can be purchased just about anywhere in the state of California including smoke shops, health food stores, and even some of the major pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens.
Although you can still find CBD edibles in some shops, the bigger chains only offer topical skin creams and sometimes oil tinctures.
If you’re looking for CBD oil that contains THC in California you’ll need to visit one of the state’s hundreds of licensed marijuana dispensaries.
Can I legally grow hemp in California?
Yes, actually, you are permitted to grow your own hemp in California. All residents are permitted to grow up to 6 cannabis plants on their property. However, there are some restrictions on where and how it can be grown.
If you plan on growing a lot of hemp, however, you’ll need a license from the state.
The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 officially authorized the commercial production of hemp in California. The Act became effective on January 1, 2017. The state’s hemp laws have been evolving in recent years.
Although the hemp market is in full swing, the state’s most recent regulatory plan is awaiting approval from the DOA and is expected to go into effect before the 2021 planting season.
Senate Bill (SB) 153, which was signed by California’s Governor in October 2019, took effect on January 1, 2020. The measure amends existing law regarding the cultivation of hemp, including registration requirements. See links at the end of the article for more information on hemp farming rules and regulations in California.
Can I sell CBD oil legally in California?
Anyone can legally sell CBD oil in California as long as its produced from hemp and contains under 0.3 percent THC. However, as we’ve mentioned, state health officials have declared that the sale of CBD in foods and beverages is forbidden (outside of medical dispensaries). However, as of late October, the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has not taken any action against stores selling CBD edibles and drinks.
Because laws in the state are so complex and changing so quickly, If you’re considering selling CBD products at your shop, it’s advisable to talk to an attorney that specializes in California hemp and CBD laws.
Here are some helpful links to learn more about hemp CBD oil
Learn more about hemp and CBD laws in California
- California Department of Food & Agriculture hemp page
- California Industrial Hemp Law (PDF)
- California Proposition 64 text with hemp language (PDF)
- CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture – California Industrial Hemp Program
- CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture – California Industrial Hemp Program – FAQ
- CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture – California Industrial Hemp Law PDF
- CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture – Industrial Hemp Registration Process
- California Department of Public Health – FAQ – Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) in Food Products PDF
- La County Department Of Public Health – Industrial Hemp-Derived Products PDF
- Vote Hemp CBD info
- California Hemp Council
- California Crop Improvement Association Industrial Hemp Seed Certification Standards
- Vote Hemp – California hemp regulations finalized, applications finally ready!
- Vote Hemp responds to misguided California Dept. of Health statement on CBD
- LA Times – Capitol Journal: Why does California’s public health department treat CBD like poison?
- Hemp Industry Daily – Hemp in California: Proposed CBD legislation put on hold until 2020
- Vote Hemp – Governor Newsom Signs Hemp Legislation Sb 153
- Sacramento Bee – Now that marijuana’s legal, state must relax rules for CBD and hemp products
- Vote Hemp – California Hemp Regulations Finalized, Applications Finally Ready!
- Vote Hemp – California Hemp Law
- LA Times – CBD-infused products are being sold everywhere in California — but are they legal?
- VIDEO: ABC10 – Is hemp on the verge of a comeback in California?
- VIDEO: CBD Junkie – Cali Hemp Farmers talks about small scale hemp farming… 2-10 acres
- VIDEO: Farmer Toms Hemp Company How to grow #Hemp – Our successful Industrial Hemp Farming for CBD oil