CBD, also called cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive chemical compound present in cannabis. Note that CBD is not the same as marijuana; it is derived from the cannabis plant. Many studies have shown CBD to possess many beneficial properties, such as anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, pain relief, and anxiety relief properties. The World Health Organization also reports that CBD possesses no effect indicative of substance abuse or dependency. This unique distinction differentiates CBD from the more commonly known delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, which is responsible for the intoxicating effect experienced by cannabis users.
In 2018, the United States government passed the Farm Bill, which declassified hemp as a Schedule I drug in the Controlled Substance Act. The declassification meant that citizens may cultivate hemp and that hemp-derived CBD products in the United States were legal, provided they contain no more than 0.3% THC. CBD may be derived from both hemp and marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill also left the final legislation of CBD to states, hence permitting them to enact varying CBD laws.
Although CBD seems to be proving its worth in a growing number of trials, Epidolex, a CBD-based drug, remains the only cannabidiol drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat specific medical uses. Approved in July 2020, Epidolex may be purchased for the treatment of seizures associated with Dravet Syndrome and Gastaut Syndrome.
CBD products are available in varying forms, such as topicals, lotions, oils, crystals, waxes, e-liquids, and capsules.
Yes, CBD oil is legal in Washington regardless of its source. Both marijuana-derived oil and hemp-derived CBD oil can be purchased and used in Washington. Washington residents looking to obtain marijuana-derived CBD oil need to apply for a medical marijuana card. Residents who suffer from one or more of the qualifying conditions listed and are registered under the medical marijuana program may obtain doctor recommendations to use marijuana-derived CBD oils.
I-692 was Washington's first successful cannabis initiative in recent history. This legislation, which was passed in 1998, created the state's official medicinal marijuana program. Patients with terminal illnesses such as cancer or multiple sclerosis could apply for medical marijuana (MMJ) cards with the approval of their physicians. The Washington State Department of Health continues to administer the state's medicinal marijuana program.
While I-692 established the legality of marijuana in Washington, I-502 elevated cannabis legalization to a new level. Officially known as the "Washington Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Initiative," this 2012 legislation let anyone over 21 purchase recreational marijuana from state-licensed retailers. For medicinal purposes, the state requires a doctor to obtain the consent of a minor's legal guardian before prescribing medical cannabis or medical CBD. Also, the guardian must make the purchase for the minor. Otherwise, patients must be eighteen years of age or older to get a prescription for medicinal cannabis. I-502 empowered the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board (WSLCB) to regulate and license cannabis.
Prior to the 2018 US Farm Bill, the major bill legalizing hemp was 2016's SB 6206. While this legislation did not completely legalize hemp, it allowed certain institutions in the state to cultivate hemp flower for research purposes.
Washington State legislators updated their hemp legislation shortly after the US Government passed the 2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill expanded agricultural and commercial potential for hemp and hemp-derived products on a national level. The bill excluded from the definition of marijuana, effectively removing hemp-derived products from Schedule 1 classification, provided they contain below 0.3 percent THC.
SB 5276 established "industrial hemp" as a legal crop in Washington State (as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC). This new act established the state's Industrial Hemp Cultivation Program, which the USDA recently authorized in 2020.
While Senate Bill 5276 permits the sale and consumption of hemp-derived products, one significant absence is CBD edibles. Pursuant to SB 5276, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) was tasked with establishing a hemp licensing and regulatory program to replace the industrial hemp research pilot program. According to the WSDA, it is unlawful to purchase, sell, or consume CBD-infused edibles in the state. Until the FDA determines that CBD is a safe food ingredient, Washington State will maintain its prohibition on CBD edibles. The industrial hemp pilot program stipulates that CBD users must at least be 18 years old.
The Industrial Hemp Research Pilot program was canceled in January 2020 and was replaced by the Hemp Program. Although marijuana licensees may apply for a hemp license, they are not permitted to produce marijuana (cannabis containing above 0.3 percent THC) on their hemp-registered land area, according to WSDA regulations.
The WSDA largely abides with the USFDA rule, which prohibits an article investigated or approved as a drug from being used as an ingredient in food or dietary supplements. However, the WSDA permits licensed food processors to use other hemp products in food, such as hemp seed oil, hemp seed protein powder, and hulled hemp seeds, provided they comply with all other requirements. The USFDA has determined these components to be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) based on federal requirements. Washington state-licensed processors may add Hemp-CBD to marijuana products so consumers over 21 can still access Hemp-CBD by visiting marijuana retailers.
Other hemp plant parts, including CBD, are not permitted to be used as food ingredients under the terms of a Washington State Food Processor License. Foods containing prohibited hemp plant parts are not permitted to be distributed in Washington State under the terms of a Washington State Food Storage Warehouse License.
WSLCB-licensed marijuana retailers in Washington can sell stand-alone hemp-derived CBD products if the product satisfies the definition of a Cannabis Health and Beauty Aid (CHABA) product pursuant to RCW 69.50.575.
CBD users above the age of 21 can possess up to 72 ounces of marijuana-derived CBD liquids, including oils and tinctures, and 16 ounces of marijuana-infused CBD edibles in solid form in Washington. Purchase and possession above these legal limitations are punished by imprisonment and fines. However, licensed hemp and marijuana producers, cultivators, and distributors are exempt.
There are no possession limits for hemp-derived CBD in Washington.
Yes. Patients with medical marijuana cards registered under the state medical marijuana program and suffering from a qualifying condition may use CBD upon Doctors' recommendations. The qualifying conditions include:
Pursuant to state law, persons or entities seeking to grow hemp in the State of Washington legally must obtain hemp producer licenses in accordance with statutes in the RCW 15.140.060 and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. A hemp processor that processes hemp for commercial use or sale is required to register with the WSDA.
The registration application must contain the physical addresses of any locations where hemp is processed or kept, a registration fee, and any other information deemed necessary by the WSDA. The stipulated licensing fee for a hemp producer in Washington is $1,200. The applicant will be required to provide the geospatial location of proposed fields, greenhouses, and other hemp production facilities. Other personal information required includes the applicant's Social Security number, email address, telephone number, business address. The business license number, business incorporation address, name and address of the entity's agent in Washington, and Employer Identification Number (EIN) will be required for business entity applicants.
An applicant must submit an application for a hemp producer license in Washington along with a criminal history report of the applicant. The applicant must complete the report within 60 days of the date of application. For applicants applying as a business entity, a completed criminal history report is required by each key participant.
Washington defines a key participant as an individual or persons with direct or indirect financial interests in the hemp producer business. These categories of persons may be owners or partners in partnerships. Per Washington law, a key participant also includes individuals or persons in corporate entities at executive levels, such as chief financial officers, chief operating officers, and chief executive officers. Note that this definition does not cover management such as field, farm, or shift managers.
The criminal history report must show that the applicant has not been convicted of a state or federal crime linked to a controlled substance in the 10 years before the completion date of the report. A person legally producing hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill before December 20, 2018, and whose conviction happened before that date, is exempt from this rule.
Per SB 5372, hemp processing registration is optional for hemp processors in Washington. Hence, unlike hemp growers, hemp processors do not need to obtain licenses before taking possession of raw hemp materials for modification, packaging, or sale. Persons who opt to be certified as hemp processors may do so by registering with the WSDA.
However, Washington stipulates certain benefits for electing to apply for a hemp processor registration. In place of a hemp processor license, a voluntary processor registration or hemp extract certification will enable individuals or businesses to send transitional or final hemp products to states and countries that need a hemp processor license or registration. You can find more information about this certification on the WSDA website.
Washington also sets specific requirements for WSLCB-licensed marijuana producers or processors who wish to grow hemp within their licensed facilities. These requirements include:
To forestall misleading CBD packaging and marketing in a growing cannabis industry in Washington, the WSLCB stipulates strict CBD label requirements for CBD products. These requirements are specified in the WSLCB packaging and labeling guide. The requirements include:
Upon a consumer's request, a retailer must be able to provide the name of the certified laboratory and quality assurance test results for any CBD product. Optional information that may be included on the label include:
In addition to these requirements, Washington requires CBD products to comply with the NIST Handbook 130, Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulation adopted in WAC 16-662.
CBD products are available in licensed dispensaries, smoke and vape shops, mall carts, convenience stores, health food stores, and grocery stores. Premium CBD products may not always be available in retail shops since very few retailers sell top-tier brands that are effective in treating chronic medical conditions. As a result, many Washington residents consider purchasing CBD products online.
Purchasing CBD products online offers consumers the chance to select from a broad range of online retailer shops and have purchases shipped to their doorsteps. Also, by opting to shop CBD products online, consumers can collect detailed information about each product and compare various items and product types, thereby discovering potential good deals. Many CBD manufacturers often have their own ecommerce store, enabling consumers to buy CBD products directly from the source.