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 ofВ shipping cannabis products, includingВ 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 theВ 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 buyВ cheap marijuana seeds for saleВ online and have them delivered up to your door.В I make no statement about the legality of such action.В 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 aВ new advisoryfor shipping hemp-derived CBD products in March of 2019.
Some of the requirements include a self-certification statement and a producerвЂ™s license issued by the US Department of Agriculture. The productвЂ™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 RegulationsВ вЂ“ conform to all theВ federal rulesВ provided for shipping CBD oil in the US. Again, the CBD вЂ“ in whatever form вЂ“ must be from hemp (not cannabis) and must contain 0.3% THC or less.
- Courier GuidelinesВ вЂ“ If you are using USPS, follow theirВ March 2019 guidelinesВ 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 LabelingВ вЂ“ As a manufacturer, your products must meet the CBD packaging and labeling regulations.
- Farm Bill complianceВ вЂ“ If you are a distributor, then it is essential to ensure all your products come from a producer who is what theВ Farm BillВ 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 theВ CannabaceaeВ 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 theВ 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 AmericaВ вЂ“ US, Canada, Mexico
- EuropeВ вЂ“ 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
- AsiaВ вЂ“ South Korea, China, India,
- South AmericaВ вЂ“ Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
- AfricaВ вЂ“ 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)
Shipping to Australia is also a daunting feat to achieve. While Australia legalized cannabis for medical reasons back in 2016, its availability is underВ 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 likeВ Durban poison seeds for sale, to grow your harvest of 100% Sativa plants. There are several other options for hemp and marijuana farmers.
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 supplyingВ customers. More importantly, stay updated with the changing cannabis laws as the product gains increasing mainstream popularity.В It is always wise to consult an attorney familiar with these laws.
This is a guest post by Jennifer Smith.В This post has been edited for syntax and grammar.В В The Law offices ofВ Jay LeidermanВ is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein.В This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice.В This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship of any sort.В 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
The Latest on Shipping CBD Oils and Other CBD Products
As the Green Rush gains momentum, it’s a good time to be a seller of CBD oil and other hemp-based products, especially since the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp on a federal level. However, as companies are ramping up to capitalize on this marketing opportunity, there remain many questions about warehousing and shipping CBD oil and other hemp-based products.
We’ve put together this review to help you determine what’s possible and permissible right now based on our own experience as a CBD fulfillment provider, as well as recent conversations with transportation carriers and trade association officials.
More questions than answers
When it comes to marketing, packaging and shipping CBD products, some of the most important guidelines have yet to be ironed out, while others can be easy to misinterpret, including:
- Can local or state officials prohibit or restrict delivery of CBD oil and other hemp products in their areas now that CBD has been legalized on a national level?
- Do CBD and other hemp products require special parcel packaging or shipping protocols – and are these subject to change?
- Which states seem to be more CBD friendly than others – and how does this impact logistics activities such as inbound shipping, warehousing and fulfillment?
On July 12, the FDA’s Acting Chief Information Officer promised timely answers to some of these concerns, tweeting that, “[the] FDA is expediting its work to address the many questions about cannabidiol (CBD).” Here are links to recent articles from the FDA:
As CBD laws and regulations are ironed out, state by state, one thing is certain: You still have a business to run – and CBD /hemp products that you need to store, fulfill and ship as efficiently and compliantly as possible.
That’s where this Q&A comes in.
What’s exactly are CBD, hemp and cannabis? And how are they different from marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana are both part of the cannabis sativa plant. But they are actually two distinct species of that plant.
Hemp is one type of cannabis plant – one that’s known for producing very high levels of the chemical CBD, which is known (among other things) for its anti-inflammatory qualities and other healing properties.
By contrast, marijuana is another type of cannabis plant altogether – one that contains high levels of the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, which is also known as THC. It is THC that is known for producing that well-known “high.”
Because the hemp species of cannabis plant products is so high in CBD, it’s become the main source of CBD products, including CBD oil. (Hemp does contain THC, but only in very small amounts.)
By contrast, because the marijuana species of cannabis plant is so low in CBD, it is rarely if ever used to produce CBD products.
Of course, the other big difference is, the hemp plant is now legal at the federal level, while marijuana is not.
Can all of the national U.S. parcel carriers (DHL, Fed Ex, UPS and the USPS) ship CBD oil and other hemp products?
All of them can, but as of this writing only three do.
UPS, DHL and the U.S. Postal Service all allow customers to ship CBD oils and other products provided they meet the following criteria:
- All products shipped must contain less than a 0.3% THC level (anything more is considered by the government to be marijuana, which would make shipping it illegal)
- Shippers must ensure they’re compliant with all federal, state and local laws, including those pertaining to the production, processing, distribution and sales of hemp
- Shippers must maintain compliance documentation that shows they’re compliant with the above laws for two years
DHL also requires that all hemp shipments be sent in a box that does not contain any branding or labeling that reveals what’s inside the package.
Per the latest from FedEx, CBD is a prohibited item right now.
Doesn’t the USPS also require some additional documentation?
For a while, the USPS required all companies shipping CBD oil to include a signed statement printed on their letterhead that committed them to the False Statements Act. But as of the most recent guidelines, which were released June 6, 2019, this is no longer a requirement.
If the Farm Bill says that hemp-derived CBD is now legal, why are we still hearing stories about the seizure of packages or truckloads containing hemp in some states?
Even though the Farm Bill now permits industrial hemp nationwide, it doesn’t supersede any state or local laws. And much like some local municipalities have laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol (despite its longtime legal status), some states or cities still can – and do – exercise strong restrictions against the sale or transportation of hemp within their borders.
Other states are more amenable to working with hemp businesses in general, which is something to keep in mind as you choose the most optimal locations for your CBD fulfillment operations.
From a retail perspective, how many states are actually hemp- and CBD-friendly?
According to research compiled by a major hemp retailer, approximately half of all U.S. states are hemp-friendly to some degree because they have laws in place that either allow retailers to sell hemp products or they’ve made a legal distinction between Farm Bill-compliant hemp and marijuana. Meanwhile, approximately 18 states lie somewhere in the middle, because their laws neither explicitly prohibit the retail sale of industrial hemp nor have any exemptions in place that officially say they consider hemp-derived products to be legal.
But perhaps most important to your business, eight states lie in the zone of concern because of recent law enforcement or legislative activities, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Michigan, Nevada, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
Bear in mind, however, that this landscape is constantly changing, so we encourage you to monitor the latest reports from key lobbying and industry groups such as the National Hemp Association or from leading hemp industry news outlets – or to consult one of the industry’s compliance experts.
For another perspective on the same question (one that also includes the latest on which states have embraced the legalization of hemp’s famous cousin, marijuana,), check out this interactive map from the National Cannabis Industry Association or this overview of state-by-state hemp statutes from the National Conference Of State Legislatures.
Do CBD oils and other hemp products require special material handling, parcel handling or fulfillment protocols and are these subject to change?
It depends on whether or not the CBD or hemp product you’re selling is ingestible. Currently, the FDA forbids the use of CBD in ingestible products such as food and dietary supplements. But the Hemp Industry Daily reports that the FDA has only sporadically enforced its ban, and some states have given CBD manufacturers express permission to make and sell CBD foods, drinks and dietary supplements.
Yes, it’s confusing.
In general, food-grade products need to be stored at a food-grade warehousing facility, which is a special breed of distribution center that’s subject to higher standards of maintenance and cleanliness. The facility should also have advanced systems that enable inventory management protocols like first in/first out and the ability to trace a product location in case there is a problem or recall.
As a general rule, we also recommend that companies consider adopting some of the smart practices that are often used for the shipping of high-value products – including use of tamper-proof packaging materials, and working with providers whose employees have been carefully screened and background checked. In addition, it makes sense to use a warehouse and fulfillment partner that already has experience working with CBD products, especially as the regulatory landscape continues to shift.
It also might be smart to consider housing your product with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) that can provide value-added services like product kitting and packaging. That way if federal, state or local authorities require you to make a modification to your product packaging or labeling, these 3PLs can switch your packaging out in the warehouse rather than having to ship it back to you so you can do the same.
And yes, all requirements for storing and shipping CDB oil and other CBD-infused products are indeed subject to change. This is, after all, the hemp/CBD industry.
Marketing claims and labeling compliance
The FDA is paying close attention to CBD product manufacturers that make unsubstantiated claims about treating diseases or medical conditions. In fact, in July 2019 the FDA issued a warning letter to a manufacturer for selling unapproved products on line.
As for labeling requirements for your CBD product, the proper approach depends on many factors, including container size, serving size and marketing claims. New Hope Network has a useful article on how to label your CBD product correctly.
From a logistics perspective, what else do CBD/hemp businesses need to know?
When it comes to shipping CBD oils and related products, we’ll continue to see changes as federal and state authorities define their regulatory stance. Amware Fulfillment will continue to closely monitor the landscape, and we’ll share updates with you as circumstances merit.
We’ve put together this review to help you determine what’s possible and permissible right now when it comes to shipping CBD oils and other products.