In progressive states like New York where urbanites have embraced the booming CBD trend. You may think 'is CBD legal in NY?' - that's an easy question to answer.
It would seem that everyone, including your friends, neighbors and even your aunt is talking about CBD. And while the legality of cannabis in the US can be difficult to keep up with, the laws surrounding CBD, are generally thought to be quite liberal.
Unfortunately, the proliferation of a thing does not always confirm the legality of it. This is just the case for CBD. So, is CBD legal in New York after all? We thought we’d gather information on:
- What is CBD?
- The difference between marijuana and hemp
- Why is CBD both legal and illegal?
- Is CBD legal in New York?
What is CBD?
While most of you may have heard of CBD by now, most won’t realize how nuanced the compound actually is. CBD is a cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant, similar to the more popular compound THC (which is known for its high incuing effects). CBD however, is gaining its popularity for its incredible therapeutic potential and the number of perceived health benefits it is thought to have.
CBD can be found in varying amounts in both the marijuana and hemp species of the cannabis plant, but this is where it gets tricky. While CBD is a compound belonging to both the hemp and marijuana varieties of the cannabis species, these varieties are technically the same plant.
However, the legal status’ in certain US states deems them different due to their differing THC content. Currently, in the US, Cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC are widely considered legal (this law may differ from state to state). It is for this reason that many CBD consumers are now asking, is CBD legal in New York?
Let’s discuss why CBD derived from hemp is legal, while CBD derived from marijuana, isn’t in the state of New York.
The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp
This is a fairly simple, but again quite a nuanced subject. While many who use any derivative of the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes, and find differentiating between the two an exercise in bureaucracy, there are important reasons to make the distinction.
In the US, hemp is categorized as a plant containing less than 0.3% THC (and 0.2% THC in the EU) in its dried state and is used for an incredible range of things like:
- Building material
- Health supplements
But really, hemp’s uses don’t stop there. Hemp and its extracts are used as sunscreen, in beer, soap, and even as an alternative to cow’s milk.
Hemp is Federally Legal in the US
On the 20th December 2018, hemp was finally removed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance list. This made hemp an agricultural commodity under federal law, and while growing it is still heavily regulated, and subject to licensing approval, it is legal to grow and cultivate.
Simply put, marijuana, though the term is often loosely applied, is any cannabis plant that has more than 0.3% THC (and 0.2% in the EU and other countries). While many states in the US have legalized both recreational and medical use of marijuana, not all states have applied the same laws.
In fact, many of the states that have legalized marijuana only go so far as allowing medical use only, and have not opened up legislation to recreational uses. States that do allow recreational use of marijuana include:
- Washington DC
But where does that leave New Yorkers? Is CBD Legal in New York? Well, technically yes, but you may want to hold on just a moment before clicking ‘BUY’.
New York Bans CBD Infused Food
While you may think of New York as the epicenter of the hottest trends, you may have to put that CBD latte on ice for the time being.
Even though CBD (cannabidiol) is legal in the state of New York, the city’s health department confirmed this year (2019) that it will begin a ‘crackdown’ on restaurants and food establishments that use the CBD compound in food and will impose fines on anyone found to be breaking the rules.
By doing so, New York will be one of the first major US states to begin implementing rules around the use of CBD. As the popularity of CBD is relatively new, legislation and regulatory agencies are yet to catch up in terms of their stance and final ruling on the compound.
A statement from the New York Department of Health stated:
“Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat,”
“Until cannabidiol … is deemed safe as a food additive, the department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.”
The CBD industry is largely unregulated. Therefore until there are more standardized regulations on the way CBD is labeled and packaged, regulatory agencies are cautious of supporting the use of CBD in food.
CBD has the potential to treat a number of illnesses from inflammation, anxiety, depression and even epilepsy. But until more guidelines and rules are put in places we may never know how much CBD we are actually getting in our CBD brownies.
Why is CBD Both Legal and Illegal?
Well, this is where the distinction between hemp and marijuana becomes so important. Especially if you live in a state where marijuana is yet to be legalized.
Simply put, CBD is a compound in the cannabis plant found in both hemp or marijuana varieties. Yes, we know this, but in states where marijuana is fully legalized, it isn’t all too uncommon to find full-spectrum CBD products extracted from the marijuana plant.
This could mean that if your CBD products are bought in any of the previously listed states they could potentially contain more than 0.3% THC, (the legal quota allowed in states where marijuana is still illegal).
So, if you live in the State of New York, where marijuana is only legal to patients with prescriptions permissible under the Compassionate Care Act, your CBD product - extracted from marijuana - could put you in an awkward legal position.
However, there’s no reason to fret. New Yorkers can still have their cake, and eat it too (as long as it doesn’t contain CBD).
CBD products that have been extracted from hemp – is your best option.
Hemp was reclassified from its previous Schedule 1 controlled substance listing, it is now an agricultural commodity. There are now fewer limitations on how you cultivate, use and sell hemp products.
So, Is CBD Really Legal in New York?
Cannabis laws are changing on a daily basis within the US and it's only a matter of time before all regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies give their rulings.
While New Yorkers may have to sit the CBD infused food trend out, CBD can still be used in other forms.
When it comes to any cannabis products in New York, they must be made or extracted from the hemp plant only. This means any product coming from the THC rich marijuana variety of cannabis plant is illegal for those without a medical prescription.
So, if you buy your CBD product online, and you receive a marijuana CBD extract, you could find yourself in some legal difficulty.
Below are some things you may want to consider to ensure that your CBD products are both legal, and safe in the state of New York.
Furthermore, it is best to choose companies that:
- Have GMP certification
- Use supercritical CO2 extraction, to ensure the cleanest extracts
- Are certified organic (meaning no toxins, heavy metals, chemicals or other added nasties)
By ensuring the above criteria is adhered to, you’ll be that much closer to obtaining your own special vial of pure hempy goodness. Still not sure about how to purchase the best CBD product for you? Click through to find out the ultimate way to choose the best CBD on the market.
Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Endoca and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cure. Endoca CBD products have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).