Depending on where you’re located in the United States, you may have noticed a crop of new businesses that sell products containing CBD oil opening in local shopping centers and online. Short for Cannabidiol, CBD oil is a derivative of the cannabis plant that does not contain the psychoactive ingredient THC. Cannabidiol is said to promote feelings of relaxation and well-being without the “high” associated with marijuana. Because of this lack of THC, CBD is legal in many places where marijuana is not, however it does pose some shipping and storage restrictions that manufacturers and shippers should be aware of.
What is CBD?
To better understand the restrictions on shipping and storing CBD oil, it helps to understand more about the oil itself. CBD oil is derived from the cannabis Sativa family of plants. Though CBD can be derived from both female marijuana and male hemp plants, it is said that there is a more plentiful supply of CBD in hemp plants than in marijuana plants. Furthermore, while both marijuana and hemp plants contain THC, hemp plants do contain a far smaller concentration of THC than marijuana, making CBD from hemp plants legal in many more places than its marijuana-based counterpart. Cannabidiol is not to be confused with another hemp product- hemp oil, as this is an entirely different (also non-psychoactive) product that is often touted for its moisturizing benefits.
Currently, CBD is available in a variety of different products, from oils and creams that are applied topically to edible products and vaping fluids which are ingested. Still, because of its origins, these products must meet certain requirements as specified by the 2018 Farm Bill to be sold, stored, and transported.
Is CBD Legal in the US?
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD and hemp oil cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Any product with a concentration higher than this is considered marijuana and is exempt from legal protection under the Farm Bill. It is also important to note that while the Farm Bill does legalize hemp production, this legalization is highly restricted and for licensed growers only- not for the average home gardener. It also does nothing to legalize marijuana use or farming, and though several states have already legalized marijuana, those legalities only exist at the state level. On the federal level, marijuana is still illegal in all 50 states.
Are There Any Restrictions for CBD in Specific States?
As far as CBD is concerned, many states still restrict the ingredient depending on where it is derived from (hemp vs. cannabis plants). Some restrictions on CBD include requiring a prescription to legally use it, so it pays to know which states are safe to distribute and use the product in.
Here in the US, states wherein marijuana and CBD is legal in some form:
Internationally, countries like Russia, Malaysia, and The United Arab Emirates do not allow CBD sales at all, while other countries such as Australia have very tight rules regarding sales.
Is it Legal to Fulfill and Ship CBD Products in the US?
For online retailers who sell CBD, there is good news. Yes, you can ship CBD oil legally to all fifty states and there are fulfillment services companies for CBD products, but you must follow certain state and federal guidelines to do so. As with local sales, all CBD to be shipped must contain less than 0.3% THC or it is considered marijuana and illegal to sell and ship. It must also only be derived from hemp plants, not from cannabis plants.
CBD products can be shipped by many major logistics providers, including the USPS and carriers like UPS, DHL, and FedEx.
To ship via USPS, parcels must include a signed statement from the mailer’s own letterhead and include the wording text “I certify that all information furnished in this letter and supporting documents are accurate, truthful, and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information or omits information relating to this certification may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties, including fines or imprisonment.”
The seller must also be in possession of a license by the United States Department of Agriculture to ship these products, and the shipment should include a lab report stating the concentration of THC contained within the packaged products.
Private third-party shippers may have their own requirements for shipping these products, so be sure to educate yourself on these policies prior to shipping to avoid any unnecessary complications. For example, UPS will not accept shipments of hemp no matter the THC concentration if it originates at a location that sells marijuana or marijuana products. UPS also reserves the right to dispose of packages it deems to contain illegal shipments of marijuana and to discontinue service to any shipper who is found to be shipping marijuana.
In addition to these guidelines, the shipper is required to maintain compliance documents for two years regarding the contents of the CBD product they are shipping. Many logistics providers also require that the label and packaging of the parcel not reveal that the contents include any CBD products.
Shipping and storing CBD oil and its products can be a bit confusing, but it doesn’t have to be if you take the time to educate yourself on the laws and policies surrounding this popular derivative ingredient.
Shipfusion sets your business on autopilot and combines flexible, reliable fulfillment with powerful, real-time technology. Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment centers across the US and Canada– making it easy to manage your eCommerce business. For more information on CBD Fulfillment, contact one of our fulfillment specialists today.