CBD In Pennsylvania

2021 Complete Guide

PA CBD 2021

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Is CBD in Pennsylvania Legal?

Did you know that, technically, medical marijuana became legal in the state of Pennsylvania before CBD oil did? It’s true. Medical marijuana was legalized in Penn. in April of 2016. And the Industrial Hemp Research Act, which legalized the production of hemp and CBD oil in the state came into effect a few months later in July of 2016.

However, CBD did beat medical marijuana to the market in Pennsylvania. While medical marijuana became available in the state in February of 2018, retail shops in the state have been selling CBD oil since at least 2015. But, up until now, all CBD oil sold in the state was imported from other states where it’s production was already legal. 

Technically, however, CBD oil wasn’t federally legal until the end of 2018 when lawmakers in Washington passed the 2018 farm bill. Within the bill was language that divorced hemp from the definition of marijuana making its production and sale legal. 

However, in order to become fully compliant with federal hemp laws, the state had to draft new hemp regulations. The new proposed regulations are now in the hands of US Department of Agriculture. They are expected to be finalized in time for the 2021 growing season.

Hemp CBD oil vs cannabis oil in Pennsylvania

Before we go any further down this rabbit hole, let’s take a few paragraphs to fill everyone in on the differences between hemp-derived CBD oil, and the cannabis oils that are only available at licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. 

Both hemp and marijuana are cultivars of cannabis. Up until the farm bill was signed, both were federally illegal. The only thing that separates hemp from marijuana is the level of THC produced by the plant. THC and CBD are both members of a family of compounds known as cannabinoids. While THC is responsible for the high that comes from smoking or eating marijuana, CBD is non-intoxicating.

Cannabis oil and CBD oil are made by extracting the essential oils from the plant’s resinous flower clusters. This oil can be further refined to produce purified CBD. Pure CBD is odorless and colorless and therefore ideal for use in edible products as well as topical creams and cosmetics.  

Both THC and CBD have medicinal properties. Although CBD-rich oils produced from marijuana are only available to the state’s medical marijuana patients, anyone in Pennsylvania can purchase CBD oil. However, not all CBD products are technically considered legal.

Now that we’ve got some foundational knowledge let’s look at some of the more frequently asked questions related to Pennsylvania hemp CBD laws. 

Pennsylvania hemp CBD oil FAQ | 2021

Is hemp CBD oil legal in Pennsylvania?

Thankfully, CBD oil derived from hemp is legal for all in Pennsylvania. 

CBD infused edibles and drinks, on the other hand currently fall into a gray area of the law. According to law, the state’s hemp regulations must follow federal regulations. And under federal regulations, the adding of CBD to food and beverages is not permitted. It seems, however, that the state has no desire to spend its resources enforcing the no-CBD-edibles rule.

CBD-rich cannabis oils made from marijuana are also legal in the state, but only for card-carrying medical marijuana patients. It can only be produced and sold by companies that have been licensed under the state’s medical marijuana laws.

Can doctors in Pennsylvania prescribe hemp CBD oil to their patients?

Only FDA approved drugs can be prescribed by doctors. CBD oils and other CBD products are not standardized and therefore they are not eligible to be approved as prescription drugs. 

There is, however, one CBD-based drug that has been approved by the FDA. It’s called Epidiolex. Epidiolex essentially consists of purified CBD and has only been approved for use by children with particular cases of epilepsy.

Doctors in Pennsylvania can, however, recommend CBD oil or other CBD products to their patients. 

If the doctor feels that the patient qualifies for the state’s medical marijuana program and can benefit from cannabis products containing CBD the doctor can approve the patient for a medical marijuana card.

However, if you’re just looking for hemp-derived CBD oil or any other CBD-infused products you do not need a prescription to purchase them.

What medical conditions are being treated with CBD oil in Pennsylvania?

The most common reasons people give for using CBD oil are to relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and to help them sleep. However, CBD is being used to treat dozens of other medical conditions in Pennsylvania. 

Some of the medical conditions being treated with CBD oil include:

Where to purchase CBD online

Online retailers have been selling CBD oil for years. However, it really only became legal at the start of 2019. And since pretty much all CBD products are being permitted in the state — even the banned ones — you’re good to go. 

Aside from having your CBD delivered right to your doorstep, there are some other bennies to buying your CBD products online. For example, whereas local shops can only handle a certain number of products and brands, pretty much every CBD product under the sun is being sold online. 

Secondly, your local shop might not carry what you consider to be a trustworthy brand of CBD. If you do your homework, you’ll find there are a handful of CBD brands that don’t compromise on quality. They may not be the brands on the shelves near you.

What hemp CBD products are legally available in Pennsylvania?

A wide array of CBD oils and other CBD products can be found at shops across Pennsylvania. 

As we mentioned earlier, technically, the sale of CBD edibles and CBD drinks is forbidden nationwide. But in order for that to matter, someone needs to want to enforce the rules. And state health officials so far do not seem inclined to harass CBD sellers. That could change once the FDA and USDA ink the final rules for the regulation of CBD and hemp respectively.  

CBD products available in Pennsylvania:

Where can I legally buy hemp CBD oil in Pennsylvania?

The bottom line here is this: When it comes to hemp-derived CBD products, if someone is selling it, you can legally buy it. That includes edibles. It’s the seller that is taking a risk by offering products that are technically banned.

Again, this only applies to CBD products made from hemp. You can’t walk into a medical dispensary and walk out with cannabis oil that contains THC without flashing your medical card and state ID.

Some of the larger pharmacy chains such as Walmart and CVS are also now offering CBD-infused skin creams designed to relieve pain and skin conditions.

Can I legally grow hemp in Pennsylvania?

Sorry. In order to grow hemp in Pennsylvania, you need to have a hemp farming license. And to get a hemp farming license you’ll need to apply to the state. Your application needs to include your operational plan such as where it will be grown, how much will be grown, what strains will be grown, what security measures will be in place and so on and so forth. 

It’s a process, but it’s not insurmountable. So far, more than 300 Pennsylvania farmers have been approved to grow industrial hemp in 2019. That’s ten times the number of hemp farmers registered the previous year. Pennsylvania hemp farmers planted approximately 8,000 acres of hemp in 2019, up from only 580 the year prior.

If you’re interested in being licensed to farm hemp in Pennsylvania check out the links at the end of the article for details.

Can I legally sell CBD oil in Pennsylvania?

Absolutely. It’s perfectly legal to sell CBD oil in Pennsylvania. CBD edibles and drinks? Not so much. However, as we stated before, the state doesn’t seem to have any inclination toward enforcing the FDA’s ban on these products. Yet.

Nonetheless, if you are a bona fide retail establishment and you are considering selling CBD it would be wise to discuss the matter with a lawyer that is well versed in Pennsylvania hemp and CBD laws.

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