Letter to Americans For Safe Access

In the United States, the issue of CBD legality is complicated. Here is a letter I wrote to Americans for Safe Access  in hopes they could clarify my confusion, and their reply:

Good afternoon!
My name is Jodie, and I run an online support group called MigraineBuds. We are a group of migraine patients who use medical cannabis for pain relief.

Could you please give me some guidance on the current legal status of CBD in the United States?
I am trying to keep my group informed, and until recently I was very sure that CBD from Hemp was legal in all 50 states, as long as the THC content was below .3%.

Then one of my members sent me this article on Leafly:

Of course every CBD company I ask is telling me it is still legal. I find myself quite confused and not sure who to believe.

Many thanks for your time and expertise in this matter!
Jodie E.

This was their response:

Hey Jodie, it’s great to hear that your members have found our site useful. Unfortunately Leafly is correct. The DEA has been very clear that it considers CBD oils to be Schedule 1 controlled substances. While the legal argument the CBD oil companies are making may have legal merit (I’m not a lawyer) the fact is they haven’t had to try them out in court yet.

Probably a lot of that was due to the Obama administration’s “hands off” approach in his second term. With Jeff Sessions, a hard-line prohibitionist, as Attorney General and Donald Trump, who’s views on medical cannabis are pretty favorable, it’s very hard to determine what approach the US Federal government will take towards these companies. If the CBD companies were to become targets I suspect most would fold very quickly.

That’s a somewhat long way of saying that it’s not legal but we also haven’t seen the government shutting down CBD oil companies in any concerted way.

I’d also caution your members to be suspicious of some of the companies. While there are many excellent ones since it is a new space and it’s basically unregulated you’re going to see some businesses just trying to get a quick buck by selling deceptive products (sometimes even CBD oil with 0% CBD). The FDA issued a warning about a year ago where you can find out more.

I’ll make one last recommendation for Project CBD which is a tremendous resource for all things CBD. They’re doing some great work.

I hope that helps clarify things for you. Have a wonderful day!
-Geoffrey Marshall

1624 U Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20009
p. 202-857-4272