Legality in California

CBD Laws in California

July 4, 2020

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Buying CBD in California

July 4, 2020

Applicable Laws: 2018 Farm Bill, Assembly Bill 228, Proposition 64, California Food and Agriculture Code 81000 (d), Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, Williamson Act

California has a complicated history with CBD products specifically, and cannabis and hemp in general. 

While California has now made recreational cannabis legal, they still have a few state-specific limitations on CBD products.

In 2016, Californians voted for and passed Proposition 64, which was supposed to legitimize the growing of industrial hemp as a commercial crop within the state. 

This law included a “right to farm” hemp, and sought to establishe agricultural safety standards, but no draft rules have been approved and passed as law in the years since. 

Laws remain murky about how hemp farmers are able to legally obtain hemp seeds from out of state, which are supposed to be certified by the state before planting. 

Many counties have established moratoriums preventing hemp farming, although Shasta County is one that specifically allows it within city limits.

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It is legal to sell, purchase, and possess any CBD product with less than 0.3% THC content. 

California law currently prohibits any retail restaurant or bar from adding CBD to any food or beverage, though there is no clarity whether individual users can do so in a retail establishment. 

California’s Sherman Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Law is cited for the state’s position that CBD is not allowed as a “food additive” but does not appear to be applied outside of restaurants and bars. 

Assembly Bill 228 attempted to remove this limitation, but was stuck in committee and never passed by the legislature. 

To date, no individuals have been prosecuted or cited for using CBD as a food supplement, but numerous bars and restaurants have been warned. 

Numerous retail stores carry a variety of ingestible and topical CBD products throughout the state, and out of state retailers from many states ship CBD products directly to California consumers, which represent one of the 3 largest CBD markets in the United States.

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