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Is CBD Legal in New Jersey?

CBD products are fully legal to purchase in most U.S. states, including New Jersey.

Updated September 2020

CBD products sourced from industrial hemp were descheduled with the 2018 “Farm Bill,” passed in December 2018. This law clarified a confusing contradiction embodied in the 2014 Farm Bill, which stated that derivatives of industrial hemp are federally legal, yet extracts such as CBD oil were deemed “marijuana extract,” illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The CSA classifies all “marijuana extract” as a Schedule I, highly-addictive substance with no known medical value. Because industrial hemp is a variant of the cannabis sativa plant, CBD and other industrial hemp extracts were in a legal gray area for quite some time. The 2018 Farm Bill greenlights extracts that come from what’s called “industrial hemp,” which is cannabis sativa bred to have .3% or less THC (what gets you high). Core Roots CBD is derived from industrial hemp grown in Kentucky.

In general, New Jersey is a CBD-friendly state. The state even has its own New Jersey hemp program, enacted in August 2019. This program authorizes New Jersey operations to grow and sell hemp for commercial purposes in the Garden State, including for extracting phytocannabinoids like CBD. Companies can apply to be a hemp grower or a processor/handler under the program.

Even though CBD from industrial hemp is legal under federal law, the rules differ from state to state, as each one writes its own legislation regarding the substance. In many cases, CBD is still legal to sell under state laws, including in New Jersey. For example, while CBD is legal in New Jersey, CBD products are not legal for any purpose in South Dakota. The law changes often, too: for example, CBD products used to be unavailable in Alabama unless the person suffers from debilitating seizures, but as of 2020, CBD products are available to anyone as long as they fit the definition outlined above. In reality, very few states disallow CBD altogether. As of September 2020, only three states do not allow CBD: South Dakota, Iowa, and Idaho.

If you are unsure if CBD is legal in your state, you can find a great law tracker here courtesy of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The state-level laws concerning industrial hemp products, including CBD, are rapidly evolving, with many jurisdictions adopting neutral or positive stances on the products.

Yes, CBD is legal in New Jersey. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial-hemp derived CBD such as Core Roots can be sold in any state that allows CBD!

Is CBD Legal in New Jersey? – The ABC’s of CBD

Marijuana comes from plants that have hundreds of chemicals known as cannabinoids. The two most notable cannabinoids are the psychoactive Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and the non-psychoactive Cannabidiol (“CBD”). Hemp, while also derived from the cannabis family, has virtually no THC present thereby causing no psychoactive effect.

The Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) is the statute under federal law regulating drug policies in the United States. It regulates everything from the manufacturing, possession, use and distribution of certain substances. Under the CSA, Marijuana is considered a Schedule I controlled substance while CBD is considered a Schedule V controlled substance, the least restrictive under the Act. Hemp is no longer treated as a controlled substance pursuant to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (“Farm Bill”).

Given the extremely small level of THC present in CBD, many people have been asking: is CBD legal in New Jersey? While this is arguably unchartered territory for New Jersey, both the New Jersey State Assembly Bill 1330 and Farm Bill offer some guidance.

Assembly Bill 1330 is known as the New Jersey Industrial Hemp Pilot Program bill. It allows for industrial hemp farming to promote the research and cultivation of industrial hemp to the maximum extent permitted by federal law. Under the Bill the Department of Agriculture may partner with any qualified institution of higher education to administer the program or individual, so long as that individual demonstrates (to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Agriculture) that it has complied with all the federal regulations concerning the cultivation of industrial hemp. A person validly participating in the program is exempt from crimes and penalties related to the purchase, sale, or cultivations of marijuana. The takeaway here – industrial hemp production is now legal in New Jersey provided you participate in the Hemp Pilot Program.

The Farm Bill which was signed into law on December 20, 2018 permits the production of hemp under certain circumstances and authorizes states to regulate hemp production without federal intervention. The Farm Bill defines hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” See Section 297A. In other words, if the hemp contains more than .3%, it is then treated as a controlled substance. The takeaway here – hemp is no longer treated as a Schedule I controlled substance. Because hemp is no longer a Schedule I controlled substance, hemp derived products can now be sold or purchased.

These two pieces of legislation demonstrate that the state and federal government recognize that hemp can be a viable agricultural crop enabling farmers to diversify their crops. Moreover, programs such as the New Jersey Industrial Hemp Pilot Program would allow for further research on hemp and its medicinal benefits.

So is CBD legal in New Jersey? That all depends on how the CBD was extracted. Hemp derived CBD – because it contains virtually no THC, is legal in New Jersey. As such, individuals interested in producing hemp derived CBD oils, edibles or pain creams are permitted to do so (at least until legislation says otherwise). Cannabis derived CBD is only legal in New Jersey pursuant to the New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (i.e., only if it is sold at an Alternative Treatment Center with a dispensary endorsement).

It should be noted that the legal landscape surrounding CBD is unclear and rapidly changing at both a state and federal level. Thus, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office.

Marijuana comes from plants that have hundreds of chemicals known as cannabinoids. The two most notable cannabinoids are the psychoactive