Is CBD oil legal in New York?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- New York CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in New York
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
CBD derived from hemp is available in New York, but is subject to strict regulations. The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets does not allow the addition of CBD to foods or beverages. CBD is, however, allowed to be manufactured and sold as a dietary supplement provided it makes no therapeutic claims. Hemp-derived CBD is also in New York legal when sold as a lotion, salve, or balm.
A comprehensive regulatory framework surrounding the licensing, manufacturing, sale and use of hemp and CBD was approved by the New York State Legislature in June 2019 and is currently awaiting signing from Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Only individuals who hold a valid New York State Medical Marijuana Program card can legally access CBD derived from cannabis. Medical cannabis has been legal in New York since 2014. Cannabis remains illegal for adult use in New York, although marijuana possession was decriminalized to an extent in August 2019. Penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana have been reduced, and those with existing possession convictions may have their convictions expunged.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. CBD is the second-most prominent cannabinoid in cannabis after THC, which has an intoxicating or psychoactive effect. CBD can be sourced from marijuana or hemp plants and has a wide range of purported therapeutic benefits, such as reducing pain, inflammation, and anxiety, and suppressing seizures. Since the cannabinoid has gained considerable attention for its therapeutic properties, more high CBD strains have recently been cultivated.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
All types of cannabis, including hemp strains that don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, were considered illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law categorized all cannabis as Schedule 1, which defined the plant as a highly addictive substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
The 2018 Farm Bill re-classified hemp as an agricultural commodity and made its cultivation federally legal. Further, the act removed some forms of cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, and marijuana refers to cannabis with more than 0.3% THC. This distinction in federal law effectively legalized CBD that is derived from cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, as long as it has been cultivated according to federal and state regulations.
The 2018 Farm Bill legislation does not mean that CBD derived from hemp is universally legal throughout the United States. According to the Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to regulate CBD product labeling, including therapeutic claims and the use of CBD as a food additive. The FDA has already maintained that even hemp-derived CBD may not legally be added to food and beverages, or marketed as a dietary supplement. Although the organization has begun to re-evaluate some of these stances on legal CBD products, the FDA has not revised its regulations. The agency also has been strict in its position against any labeling that could be perceived as a medical claim about CBD.
In addition to federal regulation of CBD, the Farm Bill also gave states the option to regulate and prohibit the cultivation and commerce of CBD. States may also regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently, even before the FDA finalizes its policies. New York is an example of a state that has devised its own regulatory framework for CBD, embracing some FDA directives while eschewing others.
New York CBD laws
In June 2019, the New York State Senate passed legislation which provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for hemp and CBD. Bill S6184A, also known as the Hemp Bill, will become enacted in thirty days once it has been signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Some more controversial aspects of the bill may be contested, however, which could delay its enactment.
Notable amendments in the June 2019 Hemp Bill include:
- The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are granted authority to regulate the production, processing, packaging, and labeling of hemp extract products sold in New York State.
- Retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers selling cannabis products derived from hemp must apply for a cannabinoid permit.
- The sale of beverages containing 20 milligrams of CBD per 12 ounces is permitted, but only if the hemp extract was grown, extracted, and manufactured in the state of New York.
- The sale of out-of-state hemp extract intended for human and animal consumption is prohibited, unless it meets New York standards and regulations, which will be promulgated in the future.
- All hemp extracts must be packaged and labeled according to New York Department of Agriculture and Markets standards and display a Supplement Fact panel where applicable, along with a QR code setting forth other relevant information. No product may advertise any therapeutic claims.
There is currently a lack of concrete regulations in New York while the Hemp Bill is awaiting approval from Governor Andrew Cuomo. At present, the New York State Departments of Health and Agriculture are implementing a catch-all enforcement strategy to prevent unlawful CBD products from being sold.
There is currently a lack of concrete regulations in New York while the Hemp Bill is awaiting approval from Governor Andrew Cuomo. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
CBD-infused food and beverages are prohibited in New York. Penalties for the sale of CBD-infused food and beverages include voluntary removal, seizure, or destruction of the product, a fine, and failing a health inspection. CBD-laced oils, lotions, salves, and other topical applications are legal for all. CBD oils and tinctures are also legal, but products cannot make therapeutic claims.
Licensing requirements for CBD
Presently, the only legitimate way to grow hemp in New York is by participating in the New York Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. Those interested must apply to the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, which costs $500. Approved applicants receive a Research Partner Agreement.
Licensing for hemp growers, manufacturers, extractors, and retailers will change under the 2019 Hemp Bill. The bill is yet to be enacted, but provides specific guidelines for growers, manufacturers, and extractors of industrial hemp. All applicants will have background checks performed to confirm they are of good moral character, and possess sufficient experience and competence to farm hemp.
Applicants must first obtain a license through the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets. The license for cannabinoid extractors is the most comprehensive. Licenses will be renewed biannually, and licensed premises will be subject to random inspections.
Manufacturers and growers must contract with an independent laboratory approved by the commissioner for routine testing. The reports from testing must be made available to the Department.
New York CBD possession limits
There are currently no possession limits for hemp-derived CBD products in New York.
There are currently no possession limits for hemp-derived CBD products in New York. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Medical marijuana patients can legally possess a thirty-day supply of non-smokeable, non-edible, cannabis-derived CBD products.
Although cannabis was decriminalized to an extent in New York in August 2019, those who are found in possession of cannabis-derived CBD products may be subject to penalties.
Where to buy CBD in New York
CBD balms, salves, lotions, and tinctures can be purchased from small pharmacists, specialty stores, CBD storefronts, and vape stores. Food and beverage retailers may offer CBD products, but they are not legal.
CBD derived from marijuana is only available from a licensed dispensary.
Shopping online for CBD represents another option for purchase. Consumers can buy from a wide variety of online outlets for CBD products, read consumer reviews, and ship purchases to their homes.
Online shopping also offers the ability to gather detailed information about each product, compare different products and product types, and comparison shop for the best price. CBD brands often also have their own e-commerce shop, allowing you to purchase your desired CBD products straight from the source. Find out more about where to purchase CBD.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
The 2018 Farm Bill shifted the oversight of hemp and hemp-derived products from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA currently does not presently allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn’t yet provided regulations for hemp-derived CBD products.
Still, the agency warns that regulations in flux still require companies to make legitimate claims on their labels. Buyers should nonetheless approach CBD products with caution. Most reputable CBD producers typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
- Net weight.
- Manufacturer or distributor name.
- Suggested use.
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.
New York Marijuana Laws
Updated July 2019
The state of New York has made significant progress when it comes to marijuana reform, becoming the 23rd state in the union to legalize medical marijuana in 2014. However, the state has been criticized for limitations on its policies, and cannabis advocates and pro-cannabis lawmakers have continued to work for further progress. Learn more about New York marijuana laws.
Recreational Marijuana in New York
Is marijuana legal in New York? No– recreational marijuana remains illegal. However, small amounts are considered a civil offense rather than a criminal one. Since the 1970s, possession of fewer than 25 grams has been decriminalized in New York.
In July 2019, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo further decriminalized marijuana. Under the new law, offenders caught with possession of less than one ounce of marijuana will be issued a ticket for $50. Those caught with between one and two ounces of marijuana will be cited a ticket for $200. Anyone caught with more than two ounces will be charged with a misdemeanor. The bill also automatically expunges many low-level marijuana convictions across the state.
Cuomo has endorsed full recreational marijuana legalization and has pushed state lawmakers to present him with a bill to sign. Negotiations on a marijuana legalization bill continued up until days before the legislative session came to an end in June 2019, but efforts fell short. Instead, lawmakers compromised and approved the decriminalization measure.
Medical Marijuana in New York
The State of New York did legalize medical marijuana in 2014 with the passing of the Compassionate Care Act (Assembly Bill 6357). Patients must obtain a certification for medical marijuana from a physician that is registered with the Medical Marijuana Program.
Under the law, registered patients with a qualifying condition have access to a 30-day supply of non-smokable marijuana products, including capsules, liquids, and oil for vaporization or administration via an inhaler. On August 10, 2017, officials at the Department of Health announced the expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program to also permit chewable and effervescent tablets and lozenges as well as topical lotions, ointments, and patches.
As of July 2019, there are 40 open and operating dispensaries throughout the state. Home cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes is not permitted under the law.
In New York, the following conditions are approved for medical marijuana access:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic Pain
- HIV / AIDS
- Huntington’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Opioid Replacement
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal Cord Damage Causing Spasticity
The Department of Health commissioner is charged with to adding or removing qualifying conditions. The department has previously considered and refused to add Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, dystonia, and rheumatoid arthritis.
In September 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that allows medical marijuana to be used as an alternative to opioids for acute pain management. The bill also allows substance use disorder treatment providers to recommend medical marijuana to manage pain that encourages opioid use.
As of July 30, 2019, there are 104,775 patients certified by practitioners and 2,430 physicians that have registered for the NYS Medical Marijuana Program.
CBD Hemp Oil in New York
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in New York
The personal cultivation of cannabis for personal or medical use remains illegal. Five licensed producers provide the supply of cannabis for New York’s medical marijuana program.
New York State did pass Senate Bill 7047 in 2014 to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp for research purposes. Growers must be certified and approved by the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Up to 10 additional sites, authorized by the commissioner, can be approved for growth and cultivation of hemp.
A bill to legalize the commercial production of hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD passed both chambers of the New York Legislature in June 2019, but it remains unclear whether Cuomo will sign it into law.
Legal Status of Other U.S. States
Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.
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