Current Hemp and CBD Regulations in North and South America

Currently, throughout a significant portion of the Americas CBD and other cannabinoids remain in use through cultivated industrialized hemp-based production techniques; however, there are still roadblocks, especially in the United States.

Canada leads the charge as one of few countries that, on a federal level, completely authorize the distribution and cultivation of cannabis and hemp. Other countries across the Americas such as Mexico and Brazil have relaxed regulations on hemp-based products and cannabinoids, including THC, in recent years while Chile took the Canadian model and approved measures to legalize cannabis products and marijuana.

In America, on the other hand, it’s a bit more complicated. There exist regulations on CBD oils, CBD vape oil and CBD hemp oil for example, as well as other CBD-based products such as lotions, tinctures and salves. These guidelines are designed to regulate the presence of psychoactive compounds such as THC in CBD products.

For instance, in 2014 the House of Representatives passed the Farm Bill, which legalized a set of hemp cultivation techniques, regulated by the state’s department of agriculture, for hemp that contained no more than .3 percent THC. The law allows for states to come up with their own ways to regulate the industrial hemp industry within their borders.

Individual states have different regulations when it comes to the industrial hemp industry, which is the legal producer of CBD and other hemp-based extracts. As expected, in states where cannabis is legal there is more leeway regarding hemp production and less gatekeepers and regulatory powers that be. In Washington and Oregon, individuals can cultivate hemp so long as they’re registered with the state’s respective department of agriculture which oversees both the production and processing of hemp cultivation and hemp-based products, respectively. Meanwhile, Colorado has a largely unregulated market with dedicated acreage to the cultivation of industrial hemp leading to it producing more than half of the nation’s hemp.

Conversely, more retrograde states that are not so keen on the cannabis train either outright outlaw the cultivation, processing and distribution of hemp-based products or have no laws on the books either way and therefore completely defer to federal law. Having CBD oil for sale is all but unheard in some of these states and while they may not regulate CBD its not wise to take that as a tacit endorsement of the distribution of hemp-based extracts, regardless of their THC content.

Is CBD legal? While it is usually understood to be, it’s a lot more honest to say it remains in a legal limbo. Some states allow CBD usage for people with physician authorization and others only allow research institutions and state pilot programs to cultivate industrial hemp. Law enforcement agents said they aren’t interested in going after people who do nothing but seek CBD oil benefits, so consumers have little to worry about. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has long expressed interest in legalizing hemp on a federal level and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments by a hemp trading association that challenged the DEA’s classification of CBD as a Schedule I substance. The future looks bright for CBD.