In August 2018, a 50 year old woman in Wyoming was arrested after being pulled over in Wyoming and being in the possession of 10ml of CBD oil that she purchased legally in New Mexico. She faces up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.   

Wyoming is one of the toughest states when it comes to enforcing hemp prohibition, requiring a hemp extract registration card for legal possession of the substance.   

However, “The Equality State” is not the only state with outdated laws and irrational fear of CBD oil, a non-psychoactive ingredient derived from legally grown industrial hemp.  

North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Iowa are among the states where state law enforcement, prosecutors and District Attorneys seem determined to jail people for possession or intent to distribute this non-psychoactive health supplement. This despite an overwhelming trend to legalize not only hemp, but also medical cannabis across the nation.  

Brief Review of Laws Pertaining to Hemp

In 1970, Hemp was made illegal under the Controlled Substances Act under Richard Nixon. This legislation gave the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the power to define as illegal and enforce new laws against hemp and products containing hemp.  

Despite its use for thousands of years in a variety of goods including textiles, fuel and food, public hysteria over the use of marijuana and its association with the counter culture has meant that, despite being a poor crop for intoxication (due to very low levels of THC compared to cannabis strains cultivated for medicinal and recreational use), industrial hemp was caught up in drug prohibition.  

The 2014 Farm Bill (technically it is the 2013 Farm Bill, but because it was not signed until 2014, it is also correctly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill) included a provision that allowed for the domestic cultivation of hemp under specific qualifications.  

These provisions essentially moved hemp legislation towards state control, allowing hemp to be grown and developed under state-controlled research pilot programs.  

The DEA continued to consider industrial hemp a controlled substance, but after going after a Kentucky authorized state pilot program, congress barred them from using further federal funds to go after state sanctioned hemp programs using appropriations legislation in 2014.   

Although the federal prohibitionists were now prevented from arresting legitimate state sanctioned hemp growers, there was still no law to prevent state governments from doing the same. Moreover, the unclear definition of hemp verses cannabis as articulated in the Controlled Substances Act has led to chaos as some states continue to aggressively pursue arrests for hemp products, including CBD oil.  

We recently reported on the 2018 Hemp Farming Act, legislation introduced as an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill by Senator Mitch McConnel (R). If this legislation is signed into law, it would clearly remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act which would make it an ordinary crop.  

This would make it much easier for hemp farmers to have access to the same rights as other farmers, including the ability to bank with a federally insured bank, apply for loans to buy seeds, and sell their goods without fear of prosecution.  

In addition, people that want to take advantage of the natural and non-addictive healing benefits of CBD oil could finally do so without fear of overly zealous prohibitionists.  

Curious About CBD Laws in Your State? 

If you would like to learn more about the specific CBD laws in your state, you can find them in our state-by-state guide. To follow the latest news about CBD laws, including information on the status of the 2018 Hemp Farming Act, subscribe to our newsletter below.