08 Nov Is CBD Oil Legal In Virginia?
Yes it is. Sort of. Well…
The legality surrounding hemp and cannabis products has always been somewhat of a mystery. Laws change or get updated, court cases are won or lost, propositions get passed or voted down, etc.
Laws and decisions are made on a federal level, but, states also have laws. As do counties, cities, municipals, towns, and communities. Ultimately, federal law should trump anything, but a lot of times, people don’t want to deal with the hassle of running it up that flag pole.
We should also point out that most of these laws and changes are in regards to recreational or medicinal marijuana use – ie. from high THC containing cannabis plants. CBD oil, which comes from the hemp plant and contains only trace elements of THC is a completely different animal.
Before we get into Virginia’s specific CBD oil laws, let’s take a look at it from a federal (and therefore HempMeds®’) viewpoint.
Is CBD Oil Legal In The U.S.?
This seemingly simple question has many people — from mainstream Americans to federal regulators — utterly confused. Before digging into the details, the bottom line is that cannabidiol (CBD oil) is legal, with consideration to its source.
Cannabidiol itself is not specifically listed on the United States Controlled Substances Act, the way THC and marijuana are. At the federal level, the Marihuana Tax Act defines ALL Cannabis sativa as “marihuana” and specifies all the parts of the plant that are prohibited: not surprisingly, that list includes the leaves and the flowers.
However, the politicians who wrote up the definition of “marihuana” (this is how it was spelled back then) included some provisions about what “marihuana” was not. Here’s what they had to say:
“The term ‘marihuana’ means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, or resins; but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.”
The key words here for us are “mature stalks” and “oil or cake made from the seeds” and “sterilized seeds.” Even though it’s a mouthful, the government draws a clear line in the sand as to what parts of the plant we’re talking about. These “not marihuana” parts of hemp are the parts that we use to make our CBD hemp oil products.
But we’re not the only ones. These “not marihuana” parts of cannabis are what all hemp companies use to make their products — from hulled hemp seeds to hemp seed oil to hemp protein (cake made from the seeds) to hemp clothing and hemp concrete (fiber from mature stalks).
While you can’t grow hemp in the US at the national level yet, importing hemp products — like fabric, rope, and oil — has been legal for decades.
Like many other hemp companies, we too import hemp oil from Europe. This hemp oil, naturally abundant in CBD, is what’s at the core of all our brands and products. It’s not an extract, it’s not part of marijuana; it’s a natural part of legal hemp oil, as inseparable from that oil as vitamin C is from orange juice.
As you can see, it’s a tangled legal web. However, it is encouraging to see more and more attention being paid to CBD by regulators, and we are confident that as they weigh the pros and cons of legality for consumers, businesses, and society, a clear, beneficial legal environment will eventually come to be.
You Are Now Entering The State Of Virginia…
As mentioned before, federal laws have the ultimate say. However, laws on just about everything differs from state to state. State’s rights are an important fixture within our governmental system, so equal attention must be given.
In 2015, Virginia passed one of the most narrow and conservative cannabidiol (CBD) laws in the books. The law allowed for a legal defense against prosecution for individuals who have intractable epilepsy, or guardians of those suffering from intractable epilepsy. The law applied to cannabis extracts (CBD oil) that “contains more than 15% CBD and no more than 5% THC.” This law basically only served to provide a legal defense for individuals and families suffering from intractable epilepsy who wanted to use CBD oil. Getting their hands on the product was still illegal, and although it was considered as a step in the right direction, only muddied the water in overall terms of legality.
Yes, Virginia, There Is Legal CBD Oil.
In 2017, Virginia enacted new laws and updated old ones that not only made it legal for patients to possess CBD oil, it also spelled out how they could get their hands on it. While the entire process is still a bit convoluted, it certainly can viewed as progress.
On March 16, 2017, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a law (referred to as “The Marijuana Policy Project” or “SB 1027”) that allows patients suffering from intractable epilepsy access to cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Patients who want access to the CBD oil must enroll in a program with the Virginia Department of Health and are only allowed to do so with a note from their doctor. Pharmacies will be able to apply for licenses to produce the marijuana extracts that must contain at least 15% of either cannabidiol (CBD) and no more than 5% THC.
The Marijuana Policy Project: SB 1027
The qualifications and prerequisites of SB 1027 are fairly straightforward: anyone who suffers from intractable epilepsy, is a resident of Virginia, and has obtained a certification from their doctor, may enroll in the program. If the patient is a minor or an incapacitated adult, their guardian will need to enroll in the program on their behalf.
The only physicians that can issue the certifications are neurologists or other doctors who specialize in the treatment of epilepsy. In addition, these practitioners must enroll in the program with the Board of Pharmacy. Physicians will only be permitted to issue a set number of certifications as determined by rulemaking.
After the regulations are finalized, “pharmaceutical processors” will be able to apply for licenses to manufacture and dispense the oils. Patients will be able to obtain the oils directly from these processing facilities. There is no requirement that pharmaceutical processors be DEA-licensed or produce other pharmaceuticals, but a pharmacist must be in charge of each facility. There is no indication yet how many licensed facilities will be permitted.
As you can see, it’s not exactly free reign on CBD oil in Virginia. You can only suffer from one particular disease, you must get permission from a specialist, and the oil must be made in-state at an approved “pharmaceutical processors.” Although still a bit restrictive, it is better than just the legal protection outlined in 2015.
Just to note, another piece of pro-cannabis law was also passed along with SB 1027. SB 1091 put an end to Virginia’s automatic ID suspension penalty. Possession cases will now be handled on a case-by-case basis and will be left to the court’s discretion whether or not to impose this condition as a term of probation. Those convicted will still be subject to substance abuse screening, drug testing, and community service. Minors are still subject to automatic license suspension under the new law.
The HempMeds’ Take
We don’t always take on an “op-ed” voice with our HempMeds® blogs, but we definitely have some thoughts on this one! The reason Virginia’s laws regarding CBD oil are so narrow and confusing is because they are allowing up to 5% THC in their “definition” of cannabis oil.
Even at a 3:1 ratio, this amount of THC puts the oil into a marijuana category. These types of oils are blends, containing both CBD and THC. They are quite popular in dispensaries and come in various ratios, and are used for all types of reasons. However, any product that contains over 0.3% THC, is automatically considered “marijuana” by the US Government. Anything over a third of one percent and it is no longer considered hemp.
Say the letters “T-H-C” and certain people get uncomfortable, and laws become slow-moving and unclear.
Our CBD hemp oil has up to 0.3% THC in it, which is just trace elements and so low, that it is legally considered hemp. Our RSHO-X has 0% THC in it and is made for professional athletes, first responders, and military personnel. Both versions are safe for people of all ages to consume on a daily basis. It does not get you high and it is considered 100% legal in all fifty states, including Virginia.
Our CBD Creds
As a pioneer in the CBD hemp oil industry, HempMeds® has been the first to achieve a number of milestones as we labor to create a reliable marketplace for CBD hemp oil worldwide and secure our position as Your Trusted CBD Source. HempMeds® has taken on the mission of providing cannabinoids to as many people as possible worldwide, both safely and legally.
Staying under the 0.3% threshold for allowable THC in hemp products in the U.S., our CBD products are legal to purchase and ship across all 50 states and over 40 countries around the world as a dietary supplement. There is no need for a doctor’s prescription or recommendation before purchasing our products. They can be ordered online or over the phone and shipped directly to your door.