Is CBD oil legal in Alabama?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- Alabama CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in Alabama
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
The rules and regulations around cannabidiol (CBD) in Alabama seem murky on the surface, yet the Yellowhammer State is one of the most CBD-friendly states in the country. Consumers in Alabama enjoy general access to CBD and CBD products that meet the legal definition as outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill, while licensed Alabama-based growers and processors can create and sell industrial hemp products.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating molecule found in cannabis. It is the second-most abundant-cannabinoid in the plant after THC and has many potential therapeutic benefits, including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD can be sourced from either marijuana or hemp plants.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
Even though industrial hemp doesn’t produce enough THC to intoxicate consumers, all varieties of cannabis, including hemp, were swept into the category of Schedule 1 narcotics by the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The law defined cannabis as a substance with no accepted medical use, a likelihood for addiction, and a high potential for abuse.
In 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill and legalized hemp cultivation, creating a pathway to remove cannabis from Schedule 1. The Farm Bill defined hemp as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight and marijuana as cannabis with more than that amount. Hemp-derived CBD was thus removed from its Schedule 1 designation, but CBD derived from the marijuana plant is still considered federally illegal because of marijuana’s federally illegal status. Hemp is considered an agricultural commodity, but still must be produced and sold under specific federal regulations, which were not finalized when hemp was legalized.
The Farm Bill also endowed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the ability to regulate CBD’s labeling, therapeutic claims, and presence in foods or drinks. Despite the Farm Bill’s passage, the FDA has issued a directive that no CBD, even hemp-derived, may be added to food or beverages or marketed as a dietary supplement. As time passes, the FDA has begun re-evaluating that stance on CBD products but has yet to revise rules or specifically regulate CBD products. The FDA’s slow movement has created further confusion on the state level. The FDA has historically been strict when it comes to health claims or content that could be understood as medical advice — and makes no exception for CBD. In July 2019, the FDA sent a letter to Curaleaf warning that the CBD maker was making unproven claims about its effectiveness in treating such conditions attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and opioid withdrawal. In April 2019, the FDA also warned three other CBD makers over making unproven health claims.
Hemp production and sale, including its cannabinoids and CBD specifically, remain tightly regulated federally. The Farm Bill provides that individual states may also regulate and even prohibit CBD cultivation and commerce. States may attempt to regulate CBD in food, beverage, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently of the FDA’s rules.
Alabama CBD laws
Before the 2018 Farm Bill, Alabama had a budding, though restrictive, medical CBD program in place. On April 1, 2014, Republican Gov. Robert Bentley signed SB 174, known as Carly’s Law, which allowed an affirmative defense for individuals using CBD to treat a debilitating epileptic condition. Patients could receive a prescription for possession or use of CBD only through the University of Alabama-Birmingham. This made access to CBD difficult, as the term “prescribe” is a federal term; most legalized medical marijuana states allow doctors to “recommend” it.
On May 4, 2016, Bentley signed HB 61. Known as Leni’s Law, named for Leni Young of Alabama who successfully treated her seizures with CBD. The act widened access to CBD by expanding the definition of qualifying conditions to include specified debilitating conditions that produce seizures. However, access to CBD was still highly restricted and the only FDA-approved form was GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex.
Following the 2014 Farm Bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama, the Alabama Legislature passed the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program Act in 2016, tasking the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) with the development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp. The ADAI slowly drafted and finalized regulations in September 2018, only months before the 2018 Farm Bill was signed, which broadly legalized CBD and CBD products that contained less than 0.3% THC by weight.
Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, Republican Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall affirmed the legality of CBD products that are sold by a licensed vendor and contain no more than 0.3% THC by weight. However, Marshall cautioned buyers to be careful when purchasing, as Alabama has yet to draft regulations for the testing and labeling of CBD products.
While CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are now broadly legal and available for sale and purchase in Alabama, the ADAI still regulates and licenses industrial hemp growers and processors under the 2014 Farm Bill’s rules. They will continue to operate under the pilot program until the FDA finalizes industrial hemp regulations and reviews and approves the rules submitted by the ADAI.
Relation to Federal Law
In July 2019, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed SB 225, which redefined and rescheduled CBD to align with federal definitions and allowed Alabama pharmacies to sell CBD products.
While the ADAI will collaborate with FDA rules to create regulations in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill, the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program remains in effect. CBD products are legal, but it is illegal for growers and processors to work with industrial hemp in Alabama without a permit.
The Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program required applicants to submit all materials and application fees annually, including criminal background checks. Growers and processor applicants must pay a $200 application fee and a $1,000 annual fee upon approval.
At the ADAI commissioner’s discretion, the department requires regular sample lab testing to confirm that the crop or processed hemp product contains less than 0.3% THC. The grower or processor is responsible for the lab testing fee, which is approximately $200 per sample. There are no requirements for labeling or posting test results for participants in the pilot program.
There are no regulations for sales of products that meet the 0.3% THC threshold of CBD. Business or individuals that sell any cannabis product containing more than the legal amount of THC can be charged with a felony, and face a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a find of up to $30,000. Sales of cannabis to a minor can be punishable by a 10 years-to-life sentence and a maximum $60,000 fine.
Participants in the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program are required to submit several reports regularly to the ADAI. Failure to submit any report, reporting false information, not paying fees, or growing a hemp product that tests above the legal THC limits are all in violation of ADAI regulations. These violations are subject to civil penalties up to $500 and disciplinary sanctions including revocation of an application.
Growers also are subject to existing Alabama code regarding possession, cultivation, sale, or use of cannabis above the legal THC limits. The cultivation or manufacturing of cannabis can result in a sentence of two years to life and a fine of up to a $60,000, depending on the degree of manufacture.
Alabama CBD possession limits
There are no possession limits on CBD products in Alabama, as long as the product contains no more than 0.3% THC.
To meet federal legal criteria, CBD oil must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The possession of any amount of cannabis above the legal limit of THC content is a misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to one year of jail and a maximum fine of $6,000.
Where to buy CBD in Alabama
Alabama consumers can purchase CBD products both in-person and online. Typically, CBD products are sold at CBD-specific shops and wellness and health food stores. In Alabama, pharmacies can sell CBD products over the counter, as long as they are sourced from legal producers and contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Consumers may also purchase CBD products online, typically directly through a specific brand’s website. Many online checkout processes work for CBD companies based in the United States, but some online processors consider CBD as a “restricted business,” so not all payment methods may be available.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
As the FDA slowly determines the rules around CBD’s legality, the buzzwords and descriptors on a product’s label could raise potential red flags about a product’s quality or content. How a CBD product is labeled and marketed plays a critical role in whether the FDA determines it to be lawful, so it’s important to understand what certain words or numbers indicate.
CBD product labels should not make claims about any therapeutic or medical results, which the FDA would classify as a drug and in violation of current regulations. Reputable CBD companies typically adhere to stricter labeling standards voluntarily to give their consumers better understanding and access to higher-quality products. Buzz words, such as “pure” or “organic,” have no scientific meaning for hemp and could be misleading marketing slogans.
The type of CBD should also be clearly stated. The current definitions include the following:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil contains cannabis-derived terpenes, trace amounts of THC, and other cannabinoids.
- Broad-spectrum CBD contains a similar array of cannabinoids and terpenes but removes the THC trace amounts through processing.
- CBD isolate has been stripped of all other compounds, resulting in a crystalline powder that is 99% pure CBD.
Consumers typically should look for the following on their CBD labels:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Facts label, including other ingredients.
- Manufacturer/distributor name.
- Net weight.
- Suggested use.
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.
Is CBD oil legal in Alabama? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD? Why is CBD sometimes illegal? Alabama CBD laws Where to
CBD Oil In Alabama — Where To Buy Locally, Laws & Advice
Written by QuitNet January 9, 2021
CBD oil is becoming very popular in all 50 states. Even Alabama, which may not be the most cannabis savvy state has done the same thing and allowed hemp-derived CBD to be on the shelves. Since CBD oil can produce a lot of helpful effects, it is now sought a great deal in Alabama due to its healing properties. As it turns out, there are a number of stores where you will be able to buy some CBD oil in the state of Alabama. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about buying CBD oil in Alabama.
CBD oil in Alabama
Though there are strict laws governing marijuana-derived CBD oil in Alabama, you can still legally buy the CBD oil that is derived from hemp.
For buying CBD oil in Alabama, you can do it online or you can go to a shop that is nearby and get various CBD infused products of all kinds. Keep in mind that there may be a difference in buying the two and the Quitnet team has a disclaimer:
Due to poor quality products appearing on store shelves, we no longer recommend buying CBD oil from local shops in Alabama.
For the best quality, we strongly suggest buying from our recommended CBD brands below.
Is CBD oil legal in Alabama?
Any CBD oil which is made from marijuana has high amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC and thus it is not legal in Alabama for medical or for recreational purposes. It cannot be sold or possessed by anyone. There is no medical marijuana allowed in Alabama.
On the other hand, any hemp-based CBD products are 100% legal in the state and this is due to the fact that they have less than 0.3% THC in them. Thus, they can be purchased over the counter or online (we recommend buying it online).
Due to the Farm Bill of 2014, all CBD that is derived from industrial hemp is regarded as legal in the federal sense and this is true in all 50 States (1). CBD derived from hemp is under the same federal regulations as all other hemp products since it does not contain enough THC to be illegal.
On the other hand, marijuana-derived CBD oil does contain high amounts of THC so it is not legal in the state of Alabama. The hemp legislation allows Alabama businesses to make all sorts of goods out of hemp including CBD oil since it is not considered a controlled substance under the CSA – Controlled Substances Act (2).
Benefits of hemp-based CBD oil
There are a number of great benefits that CBD oil has.
It generally produces a calming effect without any kind of intoxication or high. This is great for stress and anxiety, muscle pain, general pain, headaches, and any chronic pain. It can even help to relieve depression and anxiety.
CBD has a calming effect on the body and this generally helps people who deal with insomnia, anxiety, stress, and panic issues. It basically boosts calming neurotransmitters in the brain allowing for the relaxation of muscles and a general calm that feels great.
There is no possibility of addiction with hemp-derived CBD oil and it has no known side effects. In addition, it has antioxidant properties. Since it is totally legal, you can get it online or in a store. If you haven’t already, consider browsing through our best CBD oil recommendations here.
Finding the best CBD oil in Alabama
We at Quitnet believe that buying your CBD oil online is the best bet. It is very fast, easy and convenient. As well as CBD oils, many of the companies that sell online carry a wide range of other quality CBD products, such as concentrates, edibles, extracts, and pet care products.
When buying CBD oil online in Alabama, ideally, you want the CBD to be CO2 extracted, as this is the best method that is known to get the highest and purest concentrations of the cannabidiol that is needed in the product. Watch out for companies that offer really cheap oils. CBD is a good product with many benefits and you want what is best.
Another point to remember: you want to get products that are derived from organic, non-GMO industrial hemp. This is due to the fact that hemp absorbs all that is in the soil it is grown in, including pesticides and heavy metals. The better companies will provide full disclosure regarding their testing and purity.
If you want to save the hassle of trying to find a reliable company, just go with any of the 5 recommended CBD brands we’ve mentioned above.
Buying CBD oil locally in Alabama
The popularity of CBD continues to rise in the state. As a result, there are more and more stores selling CBD oils and other products infused with hemp-based CBD. You will find sources in all the major cities.
If you decide to not buy online, you can buy from some of the following stores in certain areas:
- In Birmingham: The Vape Loft, Royal Tobacco, and Vape Outlet, Vulcan Vape, Bama Vapor
- In Montgomery, Auburn, and Alexander City: Nebulous Vapors, Vape Escape, Vapor Craft, Endless Vapor
Although there are a few shops you can buy CBD oil from in the state of Alabama, you will have much better luck buying it online.
Buying online means you will be able to access any brand of CBD oil conveniently and you’ll be able to have the full test results available with total transparency.
If you need any help deciding on a CBD oil to buy, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
CBD oil is becoming very popular in all 50 states. Even Alabama, which may not be the most cannabis savvy state has done the same thing and allowed