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Shipping CBD Oil: Where Can You Legally Ship CBD?

The cannabis industry has grown tremendously over the past few years, and its products are already popular in various states in the US. However, the legality of shipping cannabis products, including where you can ship CBD oil is still a puzzle for many. Whether you are a manufacturer, farmer, or distributor, it is crucial to understand both the federal and state laws before shipping CBD oil (Cannabidiol). This will not only ensure your business and operations remain compliant, but also give you and your customers peace of mind.

According to the Hemp Farming Bill of 2018, it is legal to ship CBD oil in all 50 states in the US. Beware however, this has not yet been tested in the Courts and the statement that it is legal to ship CBD in all 50 states is the opinion of the author.

Federal laws state that the CBD oil must be from hemp, and under 0.3% THC rather than from cannabis. So, while it is arguably legal to ship CBD oil, entrepreneurs involved in this industry should keep a close watch on the regulations and changes that come up. Here is a brief guideline on CBD oil shipping, including where you can, in the opinion of this author, legally ship CBD products.

Shipping CBD oil through mail

Can you ship CBD oil through the mail? Is it legal to purchase CBD products online? Can you use private couriers like FedEx, UPS, and DHL to ship CBD? Can you ship cannabis products overseas? These are some of the popular questions in the minds of distributors, producers, and manufacturers.

With the advancement in technology, it is easy to buy cheap marijuana seeds for sale online and have them delivered up to your door. I make no statement about the legality of such action. Online merchants and entrepreneurs can, I believe, ship CBD to all 50 states if they abide by federal laws and state regulations. As previously mentioned, I believe it is legal to ship hemp-derived CBD oil that contains no more than 0.3% THC. The US Postal Services issued a new advisoryfor shipping hemp-derived CBD products in March of 2019.

Some of the requirements include a self-certification statement and a producer’s license issued by the US Department of Agriculture. The product’s THC percentage must also remain within acceptable (0.3%) limits. Besides USPS, I assert that you can ship CBD oil through private couriers like FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

Considerations when shipping CBD oil

There are a few things to observe when shipping cannabis products in the US and overseas. It ensures you remain compliant with existing regulations. To ship CBD oil in the US, consider the following steps:

  • Federal Regulations – conform to all the federal rules provided for shipping CBD oil in the US. Again, the CBD – in whatever form – must be from hemp (not cannabis) and must contain 0.3% THC or less.
  • Courier Guidelines – If you are using USPS, follow their March 2019 guidelines or any other updated advisory from the courier. Note that USPS requirements might be different from what private couriers like UPS impose. Make sure you follow the guidelines your courier provides.
  • Packaging and Labeling – As a manufacturer, your products must meet the CBD packaging and labeling regulations.
  • Farm Bill compliance – If you are a distributor, then it is essential to ensure all your products come from a producer who is what the Farm Bill considers the actual source of the oil and to ensure they abide by the new guidelines for growing and manufacturing CBD oil. If you are a farmer, learn the best offers in seeds and plants, and strictly follow the provisions for cannabis farming.

Shipping CDB oil overseas

Learning the differences between cannabis, hemp, and marijuana is very important before you consider shipping these products. Cannabis is a general (genus) name of a flowering plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae family. Hemp and marijuana are simply variants of cannabis.

Hemp is a non-intoxicating variant that is now defined by, among other things, its low THC percentage following the passing of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a classification of cannabis variants that contain a higher percentage of THC. Both hemp and marijuana contain CBD as well as THC.

While it is, in my opinion, legal to ship CBD oil in the US, the rules are different for shipping the product overseas. It all comes down to the regulations each country imposes on cannabis and hemp products. Many countries allow entrepreneurs to ship CBD oil extracted from industrial-grade hemp. The oil should also contain 0.2% THC or less. If your product meets these conditions, you can ship CBD oil to the following countries overseas:

  • North America – US, Canada, Mexico
  • Europe – UK, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, New Zealand
  • Asia – South Korea, China, India,
  • South America – Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
  • Africa – South Africa

Countries that have banned CBD products

Shipping cannabis products such as CBD oil is currently illegal in the following states:

  • UAE (United Arab Emirates)
  • Russia
  • Malaysia

Shipping to Australia is also a daunting feat to achieve. While Australia legalized cannabis for medical reasons back in 2016, its availability is under strict watch and regulations. Patients who use CBD oil do so through professional doctor prescriptions, and the product is only available to a limited number of people.

Buying cannabis products from online dispensaries

As a consumer or distributor, you can easily find CBD oil and cannabis products online. Several online dispensaries sell hemp and marijuana products. Go through your state laws to ensure your action does not amount to any criminal offense. You must ensure that the CBD oil retailer is compliant. If you are a farmer, pick the right species like Durban poison seeds for sale, to grow your harvest of 100% Sativa plants. There are several other options for hemp and marijuana farmers.

Conclusion

Before you start shipping CBD oil, your first step should be to learn all the existing federal and state laws that govern such operations. You may also need to learn regulations imposed by other countries if you intend to ship your products overseas. Understanding the rules will help you avoid regulatory issues. You should also weigh your shipping solutions and choose couriers that meet your business goals when supplying customers. More importantly, stay updated with the changing cannabis laws as the product gains increasing mainstream popularity. It is always wise to consult an attorney familiar with these laws.

This is a guest post by Jennifer Smith. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar. The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein. This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice. This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship of any sort. If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.

The cannabis industry has grown tremendously over the past few years, and its products are already popular in various states in the US. However, the

CBD Shipping 101: Can You Ship CBD and Who Will Ship It?

GET THE FULL CBD GUIDE

Ready to learn how to navigate the legal gray areas of CBD? Download the complete guide to selling CBD online.

Please note, all references to “CBD” or “CBD products” within this post refers to hemp-derived CBD, not marijuana-derived CBD.

The CBD industry is having a moment. It shouldn’t take you long to notice that it’s one of the fastest-growing categories, with products ranging from CBD-infused water and toothpaste, to CBD dog treats and even activewear.

From supermarkets to teen brands, you can find these products seemingly everywhere today. With increased legalization and awareness, it’s not just large retailers cashing in. Both local brick-and-mortar shops and online stores are also making moves.

The stats speak for themselves:

  • The U.S. CBD market as a whole (both hemp-derived and marijuana-derived, where legal) is expected to reach $20 billion by 2024.
  • More than one quarter of Americans have tried a CBD product. Of those people, one out of seven use CBD products everyday.
  • 49% of consumers have purchased CBD products at a drugstore, and 43% have purchased from online retailers.

With the continuous growth in the industry and a market proving it’s more than just a trend, it’s tempting to break into the CBD business yourself. But before you do, you must do your research, know the legalities and safety protocol, and understand the ins and outs of selling and shipping CBD.

To start, CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the active components of cannabis. CBD is thought to alleviate symptoms (e.g., users say it helps ease pain or soothe anxiety — though the FDA will step in if false claims are marketed), without any psychoactive effects from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the component of marijuana that gets you high).

Cannabis containing THC above 0.3% is illegal in many countries, including the U.S. as well as U.S. states. However, cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC (known as “hemp”) is legal at the federal level, but legality differs across states. When it comes to selling CBD products, you’ll want to check the state-specific laws around CBD.

Products that include hemp, like alcohol, have legal limits on the quantities of certain ingredients that can be included in products — specifically, THC.

For some states within the United States, the limit of THC in hemp products is zero. This means any products that contain hemp-derived CBD must contain zero THC. In other states, you can use hemp-derived CBD if the THC content is under 0.3%.

This is because of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp production at the federal level across the United States. The Farm Bill states that as long as your hemp-derived CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC, the product is not a federally controlled substance.

In this article, we’ll cover how to ship CBD in a way that’s safe and legal for you and your customers.

Note: This article is solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal or financial advice.

Is CBD Legal to Ship? 4 Factors to Keep in Mind

Even though hemp-derived CBD is much more widely accepted and legalized than marijuana-containing products, CBD is still closely monitored and regulated. Here are the factors that will help you understand whether your supplier’s CBD is legal to ship.

1. Potency of CBD and THC.

The CBD you ship must have THC levels below 0.3%, and you must be able to verify in writing the CBD and THC levels of the products you are shipping.

2. Origin of plant.

The CBD you sell should come from (extracted from) hemp plants, not marijuana. Talk to an attorney if your CBD comes from synthetic sources, but the THC level must still be below 0.3%. If you’re working with any partners, like a supplier, you’ll need to keep close tabs to make sure that the products consistently hit this standard.

3. Licenses.

Whether you use a CBD supplier or grow it yourself, any CBD product must come from a licensed grower. In other words, you can’t just ship your uncle’s experimental cannabis plants he grew in his shed. You may be able to legally import into the U.S. a CBD product, but you should consult an attorney.

Both you and your supplier can face legal challenges and risk getting arrested or shut down for selling illegal products. Being a licensed grower means a state government official has oversight over the production of the hemp crop.

4. Testing requirements.

Your CBD-containing products must be third-party tested to demonstrate the chemical makeup of the products you’re selling, including the THC content. Third-party testing may be a prerequisite for some of the above requirements.

Can You Ship CBD?

Shipping CBD is a somewhat complicated matter, as you not only have to comply with any shipping carrier requirements but also ensure it’s legal to ship from the place of origin and legal to receive the product at its destination. Let’s look at who can and can’t ship CBD.

1. Yes: Your CBD business complies with the applicable laws.

You are a considered a “compliant” CBD business if you:

  • Have all required licenses — including a grower, processor, or retail license,
  • Only sell CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC,
  • Only source from growers operating a legitimate, licensed business,
  • Have a third-party testing process, and
  • Have documented results from this testing.

If you meet all of these requirements, you should be able to ship CBD to locations where it’s legal (with the approved carriers listed below).

2. No: You have anything less than the above requirements.

If you can’t 100% prove that you have met all the prerequisite requirements above, you have a good chance of violating the terms and agreements of the approved carriers below.

If you attempt to ship CBD with a THC level greater than 0.3%, you may face consequences, including arrest, for sending illegal substances through the mail. At the very least, your products can be destroyed in transit upon discovery.

Top Carriers Who Accept CBD Shipments

Shipping carriers have adapted what they consider acceptable goods to ship over time. You can ship CBD if it is legal, sent only to places that allow it, and if it conforms to the regulations of the following shipping carriers:

1. USPS

USPS allows you to ship CBD if you have signed a self-certification statement that helps ensure you are selling legal CBD, that your CBD supplier uses only hemp plants and has a license, and that your CBD is derived from industrial hemp with no more than 0.3% THC concentration. You also have to maintain the supporting documentation for at least two years after the date of mailing.

Here’s what that states:

“I certify that all information contained in this letter and supporting documents are accurate, truthful, and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information or omits information relating to this certification may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties, including fines and imprisonment.”

2. UPS

To ship CBD with UPS, you must be able to identify where the raw materials grew, how they were processed, and how they were obtained (or who shipped the product to the supplier and how that supplier got it to the customer after the fact).

3. DHL

DHL can ship CBD products as long as the shipper meets these requirements:

  • The shipment contains hemp or hemp-based products that contain less than 0.3% of THC on a dry weight basis.
  • The shipper complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
  • The shipper retains records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports.
  • The packaging does not contain any branding or labeling that indicates the content of the item.

Note: Shippers are not required to present documentation at the time of shipping, but documentation such as certificates may be requested at any time.

Don’t Try Your Luck With This Carrier

At this time, FedEx does not allow hemp plants, hemp oil, leaves, hemp seed, or CBD derived from hemp as noted in its Service Guide.

3 Considerations Before You Start Fulfilling CBD Orders

Now that you have the basics down for shipping CBD legally, there are some other things to consider to make sure you’re dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s.

1. Slow down on international shipments.

Many countries outside of the United States classify marijuana and hemp-related products as illegal and can press charges or destroy products if you try shipping a dangerous substance to their country.

Make sure you fully understand the destinations to which your business is allowed to legally ship CBD products. Even if CBD is legal in a certain country, you may have trouble shipping items to that country. If you are located in the United States, for example, it may be wise to ship exclusively within the states before expanding anywhere else.

2. Consult your legal team.

If you have a legal team, make sure they read over your statements and clearly identify where you intend to send your CBD products. The CBD industry has become really popular, really quickly — with a lot of ambiguity across borders and even state lines. When in doubt, it’s best to consult your lawyer. Although CBD products are not considered controlled substances at the federal level, each state has its own individual laws and rules.

3. Double-check your suppliers.

If you don’t run your own farms or processing/manufacturing facilities and instead work with a supplier, make sure they are not violating any rules or shipping regulations, whether it be related to potency, location of where their CBD is grown, or anything else.

Logistics Partners Who Can Help with CBD Fulfillment

Now that you understand how complex shipping CBD can be, you need to determine how you will fulfill customer orders. If you don’t want to fulfill CBD products yourself, you can partner with a company that takes care of some of these challenges for you so that you can focus on your business — not packing boxes or shipping CBD.

You can outsource CBD shipping to a third-party logistics (3PL) company like ShipBob, a premiere fulfillment partner of BigCommerce. ShipBob works with CBD businesses to store their inventory, pack their orders, and ship their CBD products from their network of fulfillment centers across the United States.

Combined with proprietary technology, ShipBob’s ecommerce fulfillment services help get your CBD products delivered to customers quickly and safely.

CBD company Nature’s Ultra is able to provide 2-day shipping to all of its U.S. customers using ShipBob, so that they can compete with the convenience of Amazon Prime delivery standards. This has allowed them to scale up and become successful — Nature’s Ultra went from $70,000 in sales in 2018 to over $7 million in sales in 2019.

“We were managing shipping and logistics ourselves via USPS, but we didn’t understand just how massive and difficult fulfillment was. Now that we’re working with ShipBob, we can easily ship our CBD products to all 50 United States with ease.”
— Andrew Hardy, COO of Nature’s Ultra

Conclusion

Shipping CBD products is one piece of running a successful CBD business. You also need everything from legal payment processing to creative hemp marketing tactics that follow various regulations and policies set out by everyone from governmental agencies to tech giants like Facebook.

Selling CBD is a lot more complex than selling apparel or a novelty product, and the industry is moving fast and constantly evolving. There have been governmental and societal changes recently, but don’t expect it to stop there. Be sure to stay up-to-date on CBD regulations across the globe as well as carriers’ CBD shipping policies to keep a close eye on what changes.

The above does not constitute legal, tax, professional or financial advice and BigCommerce disclaims any liability with respect to this material. Please consult your attorney or professional advisor on specific legal, professional or financial matters.

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Does your company ship CBD products? Learn to navigate the legalities of shipping CBD and ways to ship hemp products effectively.