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The Legality Of CBD: What You Need To Know

The Legality of CBD: What You Need to Know

A lot of rapid change has occurred in the past several years regarding the legality of cannabis and hemp. However, the varied legality of both plants on a federal and state level can be mind-bogglingly confusing. Even though an increased number of states have decriminalized cannabis, and hemp has been legalized on the federal level, there are still numerous restrictions in place that can vary state-by-state as well as federally.

Federal-Level Legality

Under federal law, cannabis/marijuana (which contains greater than 0.3% THC) is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This classification identifies that cannabis, along with other substances such as heroin and LSD, have no current accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse despite the storied history of hemp/cannabis use in numerous different cultures for centuries. In fact, these plants have been used for medical, recreational, and spiritual purposes for approximately 5000 years with the earliest uses believed to have been in China. Keep in mind that the controlled substance classification of cannabis is just on the federal level, and cannabis classification can vary from state-to-state depending on current legislation.

Hemp (which contains less than 0.3% THC) was once in the same boat as cannabis: classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. In fact, the creation of the 2018 Farm Bill is what prompted the distinguishment of hemp from other cannabis plants as federal law never acknowledged the difference before. Instead, they were all lumped together and formally banned under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. However, despite this lack of differentiation for nearly 50 years, hemp was removed from the controlled substance list and reclassified as an agricultural commodity in 2018. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in the United States and removed the plant from the Schedule 1 controlled substance list. However, hemp cultivation, possession, and use still comes with many restrictions. While the federal law says that there are no restrictions on the sale, transport, or possession of hemp/hemp-sourced products, the legal status of hemp varies depending on what state you are in. Notably, Idaho and Nebraska prohibit any type of CBD, even when derived from hemp, that does not adhere to the 0% THC criterion set by these two states. Despite what federal law says about the legality of hemp, the methods of hemp-cultivation are subject to strict federal monitorization. Violations include producing hemp that contains more than 0.3% THC (aka cannabis) and cultivating hemp without a license. Repeated violations can lead towards felony conviction.

Despite hemp’s removal from the Schedule 1 controlled substance list, CBD, the chemical compound found in both hemp and cannabis, is not widely legalized. CBD is only legal on the federal level if the compound is derived from hemp that is grown in compliance with the Farm Bill and other regulations.

State-Level Legality - Vermont

Unlike federal laws, many state laws are much more accepting of hemp, cannabis, and CBD, just as long as the possession and use falls within their guidelines. However, the legal status and regulations of hemp, cannabis, and CBD widely varies among states. While the possession of CBD products is legal in states such as Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine, other states such as Kansas, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania have varied legal statuses. For instance, in Kansas CBD products are only legal if they contain 0% THC. In other words, Kansas only allows CBD Isolate products that contain no other beneficial phytocannabinoids except for CBD. Thus, cannabis-derived CBD products as well as Full Spectrum CBD products (which contain trace amounts of THC) are prohibited under Kansas law. 

Root To Vitality is very fortunate to operate in the state of Vermont where cannabis, hemp, and CBD regulations allow for more opportunities to legally experience the healing benefits of these plants and compounds! Since Root To Vitality is based in Vermont, I’d like to break down the legal status of cannabis and hemp in Vermont specifically to give Root To Vitality customers (both local and out of state) a better understanding of these regulations.

While Vermont legalized medical marijuana in 2004, hemp and cannabis (as well as the CBD derived from both) didn’t become legal for recreational use until 2018. The important distinguishing factor between hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD is the amount of THC, with hemp having below 0.3% and cannabis having above 0.3%. The level of THC in the CBD makes them legally distinct from one another. In Vermont, cannabis-derived CBD products can only be purchased through a licensed dispensary with the display of a doctor-authorized medical marijuana card. Once in possession of cannabis-derived CBD products, users are not authorized to sell them. Additionally, these products can only be used in the privacy of one’s home and not in public places.

Hemp-derived CBD products, such as those offered by Root To Vitality, have much more lenient regulations in Vermont. While act H.511 sets personal possession limits of 1oz and 2 mature marijuana plants for adults 21 and older, Vermont law does not have a possession limit for hemp or hemp-derived CBD products. Additionally, Vermont does not require hemp purchasers to hold a medical marijuana card. Therefore, any brick and mortar or online retailer operating in Vermont can sell hemp-derived products including oils/tinctures, capsules, gummies, and salves. Root To Vitality products are sold in numerous stores around Northeastern Vermont and New England, and even have a presence in California! For those of you who may not have a store near you that offers our Full Spectrum CBD products, our remedies can also be purchased online at!

Root To Vitality products can be found at Plainfield Hardware and General Store in Plainfield VT, The Healthy Rhino in Littleton NH, Bona Fide Green Goods in Concord NH, and SparkCali Smoke Shop in Mendocino California! Reach out to Root To Vitality on Facebook, Instagram, or via email to find a store near you!

Stay tuned on Root to Vitality’s blog for more information and helpful tips on CBD, hemp, and other wellness topics!


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