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Is CBD Legal in Virginia? Ask an Expert

Posted by Melissa Chipman on Oct 31st 2020

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 the cannabis, hemp, marijuana, and CBD products. In Virginia, medical marijuana is legal in a limited capacity, marijuana has been decriminalized, and a full legalization vote is said to be just around the corner. These days, Virginia is for cannabis lovers! But what about CBD? Is CBD legal 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 hemp since before the Revolutionary War. Virginia landowners including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew 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. 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, so long as the products contained less than 0.3 percent delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

When hemp  became legal in 2018, many of the state labs in Virginia did not have the technology available to distinguish between legal 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 products. This became a problem for law enforcement and prosecutors and delayed many criminal cases.2

As of late 2020, marijuana is still illegal in Virginia, but it has been decriminalized. But what about CBD in Virginia? 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, decriminalized up to one ounce of marijuana by signing HB 972 into law. 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

In alignment with the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD oil derived from hemp is legal in Virginia, but with a catch. There’s two types of CBD oils, and each has a different set of rules in Virgina. The two types of CBD oils are hemp-derived CBD oil and marijuana-derived CBD oil. Even if the end results are identical, 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 labs test results to buyers so that the buyer can affirm that the percentage of CBD is indeed at the right level.6 Some companies, like Cornbread Hemp, test every batch with a third-party lab partner.

In 2020, hemp-derived CBD oil became legal to use as a food ingredient 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 ingredient.7

For marijuana-derived CBD oils, the current law does not make possession of these products 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 legal to ship to all 50 states via the United States Postal Service. 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. This company tests every batch of their CBD oil products, the results of which may be viewed on their website.

Cornbread Hemp’s products are the top-rated USDA organic CBD oils on the market. And 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, online purchases of CBD products remain one of the safest ways of procuring CBD products 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 grown from hemp raised and cultivated with no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and with no extra flavoring, preservatives, or other fillers — like Cornbread Hemp products. Delivery by the USPS is speedy, legal, and safe.

References

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#:~:text=legal%20in%20Virginia%3F-,Yes.,contain%20more%20than%200.3%25%20THC.

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/#:~:text=Decriminalization%20law%20officially%20goes%20into,effect%20on%20July%201%2C%202020.

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.

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.pdf