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IS CBD OIL LEGAL IN UTAH?
Utah is a conservative state that voted to re-elect Donald Trump.1 This rectangular polygon of a state in the Mountain time zone is heavily influenced by the Mormons, whose Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered in Salt Lake City. And Mormons, who make up 62 percent of Utah’s population, don’t drink alcohol, or even caffeinated beverages. So how does that conservative nature affects Utahans’ access to cannabis? Is medical marijuana legal there? Do I need medical marijuana card? And what about hemp-derived CBD products? Is CBD oil legal in Utah?
In 2019, Utah updated its archaic liquor laws, but they remain conservative. Up until the 2019, in order to gain entry to a bar, you had to pay for a “private club membership.” This was done away with; now, adults of legal age can order and consume beer, wine, and hard liquor” at establishments throughout the state. The old laws required that beer sold in Utah could only have a maximum 4 percent alcohol content. As of 2019, this number has been increased to 5 percent.2
In Utah, bars must close at 1:00 AM. Packaged liquor, wine, and heavy beer "to go" are sold at state liquor stores throughout Utah; these are closed on Sundays and on holidays.3 With these strict rules about alcohol, what must the laws be in Utah about cannabis and CBD products? Is CBD oil legal in Utah?
UTAH HEMP HISTORY
The remarkable thing about hemp is how pervasive it was in American society before prohibition removed it from American life. Before the 1930’s, hemp was everywhere in America, including Utah.
In 1903, the U.S. Department of Agriculture supported a project to grow hemp under irrigation at an experiment station near Logan, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Researchers determined that “hemp made a fair growth,” in ground where the soil wasn’t too thin. “The fiber was of good color and very strong. This preliminary test, while not entirely satisfactory, indicates a strong probability that hemp may be grown successfully under irrigation [in Utah],” the researchers concluded.4
Even though Utah is in a remote part of the Mountain West, it has been connected to the wider world since the 19th century due to Mormon missionaries engaging with communities around the globe. When these missionaries returned home, they brought smokable cannabis back to Utah about the same time the USDA was testing hemp irrigation in Logan in the early 1900’s. Cannabis use among returning missionaries became such a “problem” that the LDS church banned cannabis use in 1915.5
Twenty-two years later, the U.S. Congress followed the LDS Church’s lead when it banned cannabis nationwide in 1937. By 1938, there wasn’t any hemp grown in Utah or any other state (not legally, anyway). Aside from a brief period during World War II, hemp wasn’t grown again in America until the passage of the Farm Bill of 2014.
UTAH & MARIJUANA LAWS
Utah is bordered on three sides by legal marijuana states. That trend began in 2012 with full legalization in neighboring Colorado, and eventually spread to Nevada in 2016 and Arizona in 2020.
In 2018, LDS Church leadership joined activists, lawmakers, and the governor in pushing a medical cannabis law forward, even though they initially opposed it.6 The next year, the LDS Church’s youth magazine, New Era, reminded young Mormons that even though medical and recreational marijuana are legalized in many places, it still goes against their religion to partake.7
In 2020, medical cannabis use, with restrictions limiting prescriptions for specific medical conditions, became legal in Utah. Patients may also petition the "compassionate use board" to become a qualifying patient for other conditions. Patients under the age of 18 may register as a qualifying patient if they receive approval from the compassionate use board. A parent or guardian must also obtain a "medical cannabis guardian card." In March 2020, Utah’s first medical cannabis pharmacy opened its doors in Salt Lake City.8
Despite this progressive change in Utah’s law, possession of an ounce of marijuana can still result in a six-month prison sentence. And it should come as no surprise that the majority of people facing these stiff prison sentences are from Utah’s minority and low-income communities. The ACLU reported that Black residents of Utah are nearly four times as likely to get arrested for marijuana as their white neighbors, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.9
UTAH & CBD LAWS
Hemp-derived CBD oil from industrial hemp is legal in Utah. The state follows the regulations set forth by federal law. The 2018 Farm bill updated federal law by redefining hemp, but different states have different provisions. Utah does not waiver from the Farm Bill’s regulations.
The Farm Bill declared that hemp-derived CBD oil products were legal, so long as the products contained less than 0.3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
Utah does not allow smokable hemp products, alcoholic beverages containing CBD, or any food and beverages containing CBD. The state legislature has said that this ban will remain until the Food and Drug Administration approves CBD oil as a food additive, if they should choose to do so. Also, hemp derived products including CBD hemp gummies and CBD oil cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement or as a drug with particular medical claims.
Cannabis-derived CBD products are only legal to patients with the same restrictions based on medical conditions as medical marijuana.10 Hemp-derived CBD oil is available at specialty retail shops, drug stores, and other brick and mortar sales points.
CAN I GET CBD PRODUCTS MAILED TO ME IN UTAH?
Yes! Buying CBD oil online is always an option and shipping interstate is entirely legal. Due to the 2018 Farm Bill, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver CBD oil products right to your door, even if you’re in Utah!11
Buying CBD oil online allows you to take all the time you need to research quality providers. For instance, Cornbread Hemp provides the results of their third-party lab tests online. Cornbread Hemp does this for every batch, so you can see exactly what is in the CBD products that you order.
CBD IN UTAH: CONCLUSIONS
Laws and regulations concerning the sale and use of CBD and cannabis have been steadily improving in Utah, just like the alcohol regulations in the Beehive State are slowly moving in the right direction. The Mormon Church still plays a huge role in Utah culture and politics, so while they’ve eased restrictions on marijuana taken for medical use, the church still advocates for keeping recreational marijuana criminalized. CBD oil, however, is legal and available to residents and visitors alike.
While CBD oil in Utah is available in specialty stores, the safest way to procure full spectrum CBD products is to purchase them online from a retailer you can trust. You can review lab test results and check reviews of the products. Look for USDA certified organic, non-GMO products with hemp-derived CBD oil. Delivery by the USPS from Cornbread Hemp’s fulfillment center in Louisville, Kentucky is speedy, legal, and safe.