These 18 States Concur: CBD is Medicine
As evidence for CBD’s medicinal value continues to grow, the debate as to whether CBD should be considered medicine rages on in political circles. Federal prohibition of cannabis continues to keep CBD under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), where it can do the most harm (by incarcerating patients and providers and putting patients’ lives in jeopardy), rather than the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), where it could do the most good by improving the quality of lives.
Nonetheless, here we are. A harmless and healthful compound is stuck in reefer madness. The FDA has made numerous threats in the past to CBD producers and sellers. And states are still a battleground. Kentucky tried to clamp down on CBD sales just last month, and there have been numerous reports over the past few years of CBD stores being raided around the country.
Recently a spate of states sent threatening letters to businesses that sell pet foods with hemp products in them - not just CBD, but any hemp. The fact that hemp foods are approved for human consumption but not for pets illustrates the illogical standards of cannabis laws.
Politicians and activists that are in favor of federal prohibition are clearly losing the battle. The lines on the map are moving, albeit erratically, in favor of CBD becoming legal at some point in the not-too-distant future. One looming question is this: will CBD be available over the counter, or will pharmaceutical companies corner the market by having CBD declared to be a drug rather than a nutritional supplement and cosmetics additive?
Regardless of federal meddling, states are saying “in your face” to the feds and one by one busting out new cannabis laws. 29 US states now have cannabis laws in one form or another which allow the use of CBD oil. 18 of those states have CBD-only and low-THC cannabis oil laws.
The reasoning behind excluding THC is that CBD doesn’t make people high, whereas THC does. Someone should remind the opposition that opioids make you high too, but they are killing Americans at an alarming rate. So alarming, in fact, that the feds recently declared the “opioid epidemic” a state of emergency (with no mention of cannabis as a potential solution).
Not surprisingly, most of the states with CBD-only and low-THC laws are red/bible belt states.
Below is a list of the states which have CBD-only or low-THC laws in time sequence. As you’ll see, it’s only been in the past few years that states have been coming to their senses and realizing that cannabis is medicine.
Alabama - April 1, 2014
In 2014 Gov. Robert Bentley signed Carly's Law, named for three-year-old Carly Chandler. Alabama became the second state to legalize CBD oil. The bill called for the University of Alabama to conduct research into cannabidiol's efficacy in treating neurological conditions such as epilepsy. The law states that "a prescription for the possession or use of CBD as authorized by this act shall be provided exclusively by UAB Department for a debilitating epileptic condition."
Utah - March 21, 2014
In 2014 Utah adopted "Charlee's Law" which allows the use and possession of marijuana extract, under certain conditions, by people with intractable epilepsy who have a statement signed by a neurologist. The extract must be composed of less than 0.3% THC and at least 15% cannabidiol CBD. The extract must be obtained in a sealed container from a laboratory that is licensed in the state where it was produced, with a label stating the extract's ingredients and origin, and transmitted by the laboratory to the Utah Department of Health. The Utah Department of Health is required to determine the details of the registration program.
Kentucky - April 10, 2014
In 2014 Kentucky signed into law a bill which excludes CBD from marijuana laws as long as it is ”transferred, dispensed, or administered pursuant to the written order of a physician practicing at a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a Kentucky public university having a college or school of medicine."
Wisconsin - April 16, 2014
In 2014 Wisconsin adopted AB 726, which states that "any physician may provide an individual with a hard copy of a letter or other official documentation stating that the individual possesses cannabidiol to treat a seizure disorder if the cannabidiol is in a form without a psychoactive effect." On April 17, 2017, SB 10 became law. It replaced "seizure disorder" with "medical condition," broadening the original bill.
Mississippi - April 17, 2014
In 2014 Mississippi adopted "Harper Grace's Law." This program allows for cannabis extract, oil, or resin that contains more than 15% CBD and less than 0.5% THC for patients suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition.
Tennessee - May 16, 2014
In 2014 a Tennessee law allowed the use of cannabis oil containing CBD that has less than 0.9% THC "as part of a clinical research study on the treatment of intractable seizures when supervised by a physician practicing at... a university having a college or school of medicine." The study is authorized for four years.
Iowa - May 30, 2014
In 2014 Iowa enacted a law which allows the possession or use of cannabis oil that has less than 3% THC for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. The bill states that the medicine must be obtained from an out-of-state source and "recommended for oral or transdermal administration.”
South Carolina - June 2, 2014
In 2014 South Carolina passed "Julian's Law," which pertains to people suffering from severe forms of epilepsy that are not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies. Those patients may use CBD oil that is less than 0.9% THC and more than 15% CBD, which is to be provided by the Medical University of South Carolina in a study to determine the effects of CBD on controlling seizures.
Florida - June 16, 2014
In 2014 SB 1030 was signed in Florida. The bill allows the use of non-smoked cannabis oil that is less than 0.8% THC and more than 10% cannabidiol. Patients had to have an incurable or fatal disease such as cancer or epilepsy to be approved to use CBD. A new law has since been adopted which allows THC use for patients with a longer list of ailments.
North Carolina - July 3, 2014
In 2014 a North Carolina bill began to allow universities to conduct clinical trials using CBD oil that is less than 0.3% THC and at least 10% CBD to be used only for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.
Missouri - July 14, 2014
In 2014 Missouri passed a law which allows the use of cannabis oil that is at least 5% CBD and less than 0.3% THC for intractable epilepsy. The bill requires a neurologist to determine that the patient did not respond to at least three treatment options to be eligible to use the marijuana extract.
Virginia - February 26, 2015
In 2015 Virginia signed a bill stating: "In any prosecution... involving marijuana in the form of cannabidiol oil... it shall be an affirmative defense that the individual possessed such oil pursuant to a valid written certification... for treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of... intractable epilepsy." The oil must contain at least 15% CBD and no more than 5% THC.
Georgia - April 16, 2015
In 2015 Georgia enacted a law allowing the use of cannabis oil. In this case, the state allowed the oil to contain THC, but no more than 5%. It can now be “prescribed” for the following conditions: seizure disorders, sickle cell anemia, cancer, Crohn's disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, mitochondrial disease, and Parkinson's disease.
Oklahoma - April 30, 2015
In 2015 Oklahoma enacted a law which allows the use of cannabis oil that is no more than 0.3% THC for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy.
Texas - June 1, 2015
In 2015, Texas enacted a bill which allows the use of cannabis oil that is no more than 0.5% THC and at least 10% CBD for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. The bill requires patients to get approval from two certified specialists. The program has been slow to get fired up. Just recently the first licenses to grow and sell were issued.
Delaware - June 23, 2015
Rylie's Law went into effect in Deleware in June of 2015. The bill read in part, "The Department shall issue a registry identification card to a qualifying patient with intractable epilepsy or involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow, repetitive movements or abnormal postures, such as dystonia, who is younger than 18 years of age, but only for the use of medical marijuana oil [that is not more than 7% THC]."
Wyoming - July 1, 2015
In 2015, HB 32 became law, allowing the use of hemp extract that contains at least 15% CBD and no more than 0.3% THC for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.
Indiana - April 27, 2017
In 2017, Indiana began allowing the use of cannabis oil that is at least 5% CBD and contains no more than 0.3% THC for treatment-resistant epilepsy only.