Is CBD Legal in Alabama?
The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law by President Trump, made it official: CBD is no longer a Schedule 1 drug, and is thus legal at the federal level. However, as any student of American government knows, a change in federal law doesn’t mean that something is legal everywhere, and all fifty states get a chance to have their say too. Thus, while the Farm Bill helped clear a major obstacle, it didn’t remove all of them.
However, many states did choose to legalize CBD. One such state is Alabama.
Is Hemp-Derived CBD Oil OK in Alabama?
Yes. Unlike other states, no act of the Alabama legislature was required to make this change. Instead, in a December 2018 notice, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that CBD was legal to sell and purchase in Alabama, as long as:
- The CBD was hemp-based AND
- The CBD contains less than .3% THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical in marijuana commonly associated with intoxication.
Prior Legislative History in Alabama
Unlike other states, Alabama does have a legislative history of allowing residents to use CBD, albeit under extremely limited circumstances. In 2014, the state passed “Carly’s Law,” which allowed for the University of Alabama to give CBD to children suffering from seizures. That law was expanded upon in 2016 by “Leni’s Law,” which allowed for children (or their parents) who suffered from the same type of seizures to possess CBD, provided the seizures were diagnosed by Doctors.
With Attorney General Marshall’s announcement regarding CBD, both laws are now essentially moot.
Concerns with CBD in Alabama
CBD use in Alabama has not been completely smooth. In February 2019, the state’s Department of Health issued a warning about the CBD after 50 people in Utah became ill upon consuming synthetic CBD. The Alabama District Attorney’s Association noted that some testing indicated that CBD being sold in Alabama had “illegal” drugs in it, noting that consumers should use extreme caution when purchasing and using the chemical.
Hemp Growth & CBD Manufacturing
Hemp processing and farming has been legal in Alabama since 2016 and the passage of Alabama’s Industrial Hemp Research Program. Under this act, interestingly, no license or prior authorization is required for the growth of hemp or manufacturing and processing of CBD, something which separates Alabama from other states.
However, that was amended in 2019 with the passage of SB 225, which required that the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries put out regulations for the monitoring and inspection of hemp. At the moment, those regulations have not yet been published, and applications to grow hemp will be accepted in October 2019.