Is CBD Legal in Virginia? Ask an Expert
Is CBD Oil Legal in Virginia?
The Commonwealth of Virginia, formerly a Southern state, has rapidly become much more progressive. That includes its relationship with cannabis plants and cannabis derived products. In the state of Virginia, medical cannabis oil is legal in a limited capacity, marijuana has been decriminalized, and a full marijuana legalization vote is said to be just around the corner. These days, Virginia is for cannabis lovers! But what about Virginia CBD oil laws? Is it legal to buy CBD in Virginia?
This post will explain everything there is to know about the cannabis laws, hemp laws, and CBD laws in Virginia. Reading this will help a person understand what Virginia CBD laws are, and how they got there.
Virginia Hemp History
Virginia has been growing industrial hemp since before the Revolutionary War. Virginia landowners, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew industrial hemp on their plantations — thanks to exploited labor from enslaved Black Virginians. Yet despite this history, Virginia enforced strict anti-marijuana laws throughout the 20th century. Slowly, that anti-cannabis wall began to crack by end of the 20th century.
In 1997, just one year after California legalized medical marijuana, Virginia commissioned a study to look into potential economic and social benefits of cannabis and industrial hemp. That study by the Virginia state government explored the possibility of industrial hemp as an economic and modern crop, making Virginia one of the first states to explore the modern viability of the cannabis crop.1
The Farm Bill of 2018 updated federal law by redefining hemp. The law also declared that hemp-derived CBD products were legal, but they must contain less than 0.3 percent delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC is still considered to be illegal marijuana.
When hemp became legal in 2018, many of the state labs in Virginia did not have the technology available to distinguish between hemp and marijuana. The state's forensic labs could only measure the THC percentage in oils not the amount of THC in plant material, edibles and other hemp products. This became a problem for law enforcement and prosecutors and delayed many criminal cases.2
As of late 2020, the marijuana plant is still illegal according to the Virginian state government, but it has been decriminalized. But what about CBD hemp products in Virginia, are they legal? Even though the Farm Bill made CBD oil federally legal, each state has its own set of regulations. What should you expect of the CBD laws if you reside in or traveling to the Old Dominion?
Virginia Cannabis Laws
In 2017, Virginia legalized medical marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions. In a follow-up law enacted on July 1, 2020, Virginia patients with any condition are now able to receive recommendations to use and purchase cannabis preparations with no more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose. Flower is not allowed.3
In May 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who has been a champion for cannabis legislation, signed HB 972 into law which decriminalized the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. Virginia then became the 27th state to decriminalize cannabis.4
Under the new law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a civil penalty punishable by up to a $25 fine. Previously, marijuana possession was a criminal offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or up to a $500 fine. Polling showed that 83 percent of Virginians support replacing criminal convictions for marijuana possession with a fine, and 61 percent support ending prohibition altogether.5
Virginia CBD Laws
CBD oil derived from hemp is currently legal in Virginia, but with a catch. There’s two types of CBD oils, and each has a different set of rules in Virginia. The two types of CBD oils are hemp-derived CBD oil, and marijuana-derived CBD oil. The origin of the CBD oil is critical to knowing how it is seen by Virginia state law.
For hemp-derived CBD oils, manufacturers must provide third-party lab test results so that buyers can affirm that the percentage of THC is indeed no more than 0.3 percent.6 The best CBD companies, like Cornbread Hemp, test samples from every batch through a testing contract with a third-party laboratory.
In 2020, hemp-derived CBD oil became legal to use as a food additive in Virginia. The measure states that “industrial hemp extract... is a food and is subject to applicable laws and regulations,” to be administered by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These include labeling requirements and disclosure of lab tests. This measure applies only to products produced and consumed in Virginia. Use of CBD in foods and beverages is still prohibited in nearly all interstate commerce. While the U.S. affirmed the legality of CBD oil under certain conditions in 2018, the FDA has so far refused to recognize CBD as a safe food supplement.7
For marijuana-derived CBD oils, the current law does not make possession of products containing more than 0.3% THC legal. Instead, Virginia law provides an affirmative defense for a person who might be criminally charged with possession of marijuana-derived CBD oil. An “affirmative defense” means that a defendant would have to appear in front of a judge to provide evidence that they have a valid medical marijuana card. All marijuana products remain illegal under federal law, and therefore handled differently by Virginia.8
Can I Get CBD Oil in the Mail in Virginia?
Yes, you can! The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD legal under federal law. That makes hemp-derived CBD containing less than 0.3 percent CBD legal to ship to all 50 states via the United States Postal Service, including the state of Virginia. Ordering CBD oil online is one of the best ways to make a purchase because it’s safer to do so, especially during the COVID pandemic.
Purchasing CBD oil online allows you to do research and access the third-party lab test results that are made available by online retailers like Cornbread Hemp from Kentucky. Cornbread Hemp specializes in high quality USDA certified organic CBD oils. Also, it’s perfectly legal for us to ship it to your mailbox in Virginia.
CBD Laws in Virginia: Conclusion
With support from a progressive governor, Virginia’s CBD and marijuana laws continue to trend toward more extensive decriminalization and legalization. At the same time, buying CBD products online remains one of the safest ways of procuring CBD. This is because reviews and test results are readily available online with responsible distributors and online retailers.
When you’re shopping for hemp-derived CBD oil products, look for USDA certified organic, non-GMO CBD products made from organic Kentucky hemp. The hemp plant is a bio accumulator and will absorb any toxins from its environment, so it's important to know where your hemp comes from when you are looking to buy CBD!
Cornbread Hemp sources organic hemp plants from Kentucky farmers that are cultivated with no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. We use only the hemp flowers for our extracts to achieve the best natural flavor and potency. And we never add artificial flavoring, preservatives, or other fillers. Delivery by the USPS is speedy, legal, and safe.
About the Author
Jim Higdon, Co-founder
a native of Lebanon, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Jim published Cornbread Mafia in 2012, full author bio here.
Is CBD Legal in Virginia?
Yes, CBD is legal in Virginia. While individual hemp extract laws are not specifically written into the Code of Virginia, it is assumed that all parts of the hemp plant are legal to import and possess as long as specific criteria are met. These criteria include being under 0.3% THC by weight.
Is medical marijuana legal in Virginia?
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Virginia. Virginia becomes the 34th state to enact a comprehensive medical marijuana law. Virginia's Senate Bill 1235, which took effect in 2017, legalizes medical cannabis for qualifying patients.
Is CBD Legal in Virginia for Minors?
Yes, CBD is legal for minors in Virginia. However, they must obtain a medical cannabis card from a physician and meet all criteria as an adult. A parent or legal guardian can act as their caregiver, which will allow them to purchase CBD on their behalf.
1,6. Myers, Keith. “Is CBD oil legal in Virginia?” Healthcanal. Pub: 21 Aug. 2020. Accessed: 18 Nov. 2020. https://www.healthcanal.com/is-cbd-legal-state/virginia
2. Fleischer, Jodie, Katie Leslie, et al. “Virginia warns police and prosecutors of potential for misidentifying CBD as Marijuana.” NBC Channel 4—Washington. Pub: 24 May 2019. Accessed: 18 Nov. 2020. https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/virginia-warns-police-and-prosecutors-of-potential-for-misidentifying-cbd-as-marijuana/159767/
3,5. “Decriminalization law expanded during special session.” Marijuana Policy Project. Pub: 12 Nov. 2020. Accessed: 18 Nov. 2020. https://www.mpp.org/states/virginia/
4. Herring, Charniele. “HB 972 Marijuana; definitions, possession and consumption, civil penalties, report.” Virginia’s Legislation Information System. Pub: 20 May 2020. Accessed: 18 Nov. 2020. https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+bil+HB0972&201+bil+HB0972
7. Demetrakakes, Pan. “CBD as ingredient legalized in Virginia.” Food Processing. Pub: 21 Apr. 2020. Accessed: 18 Nov. 2020. https://www.foodprocessing.com/industrynews/2020/cbd-as-ingredient-legalized-in-http://virginia/
8. Carlton, J. “The Legality and Availability of CBD Oil in Virginia” Virginia Division of Legislative Services. Accessed: 18 Nov 2020. http://dls.virginia.gov/pubs/briefs/brief62.pdfhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7968383/
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