is cbd oil legal in washington state

New Washington State Law for CBD Products

In 1998, Washington State passed its medical marijuana legislation, stepping out as one of the first states to legalize medical cannabis in the U.S. Later, in 2012, marijuana was legalized for recreational purposes as well. Since then, the state’s cannabis policy has been updated a couple of times, with the status of CBD additives being the most recent update. What is the current legal status of CBD oil in Washington State? How do these legal regulations assure higher quality of the CBD oil Washington State citizens are buying from stores or online? Let’s take a look.

Is CBD Oil Legal in Washington State?

Yes, users can obtain CBD oil in Washington State without any restrictions. Thankfully, hemp-derived CBD is readily available and is 100% legal in all U.S. states.

The medical cannabis law allowed licensed medical professionals to recommend cannabis to patients for a variety of conditions. The 2012 legislation allows adults free use of weed for recreational and medicinal purposes.

In 2015, the state approved another bill which made significant changes to the state’s patient cannabis cultivation rights. It also established state-regulated medical cannabis retail access points. [1]

All of these legal changes were focused on the recreational or medicinal use of cannabis in general. Recently, however, Washington State passed House Bill 2334 into law, which focuses mostly on regulation to do with quality control. An encouraging move for protecting the consumer.

The bill now allows licensed marijuana product manufacturers and processors to add CBD extracted from a source not licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to their products.

To quote from Bill 2334: “Licensed marijuana producers and licensed marijuana processors may use a CBD product as an additive for the purpose of enhancing the cannabidiol concentration of any product authorized for production, processing, and sale”. [2]

The Bill allows the use of CBD products from unlicensed sources as long as:

  • the CBD product has a THC level of 0.3 percent or less on a dry weight basis;
  • the CBD product has been tested for contaminants and toxins. The testing needs to be performed by an accredited laboratory whose testing standards meet lawful requirements.

This also means that the Bill allows manufacturers to add hemp-derived CBD that comes from other states to Washington products.

New Regulations Regarding CBD Additives in Washington State

The legislator filed these new rules in October 2018. They pertain to CBD additive

  • requirements,
  • restrictions,
  • and quality-assurance testing.

The new rules took effect on December 1, 2018. [3]

CBD From Out-of-State Cannot Be Added to This Marijuana

According to the new regulations, CBD may not be added to useable marijuana flower. This measure is in place to avoid flower adulteration.

These CBD additives are now limited to oils, tinctures, edibles, and other marijuana derivatives.

CBD Traceability State Requirements

To meet CBD traceability requirements, a licensee must enter CBD products obtained from a source not licensed in the State into the Washington State traceability system. They are expected to keep this information updated. Furthermore, must licensees keep these CBD products labeled and quarantined away from other marijuana products until tested for quality assurance. [3]

Quality Assurance Testing

It has already been established that all marijuana products undergo lab testing. The new law adds testing requirements for CBD additives, which also includes CBD oil. The goal is to ensure that the CBD additives are of high quality prior to being added to marijuana products. All CBD products failing the quality assurance testing must be disposed of, and can of course not be added to marijuana products.

Testing Requirements

An important area the legislator detailed are the testing requirements regarding these non-State CBD products. The products must be tested for contaminants and toxins by accredited labs in Washington.

Aside from requiring that these products “. successfully pass quality assurance testing prior to being added to any marijuana product,” the Bill also outlines rules regarding sample size and deduction.

The sampling protocol for all licensed producers, processors, and certified labs requires that all samples for testing: [3]

  • must be collected in a sanitary environment—the person in charge of collecting the samples must wear gloves, have their hands washed, and use sanitary utensils and storage devices;
  • must be representative of the entire product;
  • must be one percent of the product as packaged by the manufacturer, but no less than two grams;
  • must be labeled with a unique identifier number;
  • must include the name of the certified lab that will be receiving the sample;
  • must include the license number, and business or trade name of the licensee;
  • must include the date the sample was collected, as well as the weight of the sample.

Other Restrictions Regarding Marijuana Use in Washington State

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Washington, but the state still prescribes some restrictions. [5]

  • Age Limit. In Washington, only adults age 21 and older are allowed to purchase and process marijuana.
  • Purchase Limits. Washington State allows adults age 21 and older to obtain up to one ounce of usable marijuana in the form of harvested flower, or “bud.” Adults are also permitted to purchase 16 ounces of weed-infused edibles in solid form, and 72 ounces in liquid form. People can also buy marijuana concentrates, up to 7 grams.
  • Buying and Selling. Users age 21 or older can buy marijuana at state-licensed retail stores.
  • In Washington State, it is illegal to consume marijuana in public, driving under the influence, or to transport marijuana outside of Washington. Legal penalties follow if the user is caught driving while intoxicated with more than five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood, or caught crossing the border with weed.

These legal regulations greatly protect users of CBD-enriched marijuana products by assuring quality of the CBD oil Washington State citizens are purchasing. The legislator also requires for CBD additives to be tested for THC, as well as pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and more. Having such regulations in place will assure that the licensed producers and processors acquire and offer CBD additives from reliable sources, even if they have not been licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Some users are sensitive to THC, so knowing the exact ingredients of a bottle of CBD oil benefits the user.

Though marijuana is legal in Washington state, when it comes to CBD oil, Washington state has rules and requirements which include testing on CBD products.

Is CBD oil legal in Washington?

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  1. What is CBD?
  2. Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
  3. Washington CBD laws
  4. Where to buy CBD in Washington
  5. How to read CBD labels and packaging

CBD oil is currently under scrutiny and subject to strict regulation in Washington. The state recently banned the use of hemp-derived CBD in food and beverage products following current guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As of October 2019, CBD cannot be used as an ingredient in foods or beverages, under federal and state law. CBD oil which contains more than 0.3% THC must be sold in licensed cannabis dispensaries.

Washington was one of the first states in the country to legalize cannabis. Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington since 1998. Adult-use marijuana was legalized in 2012 with the passing of Initiative 502, also known as the Washington Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Initiative.

What is CBD?

CBD is the second-most prominent cannabinoid found in cannabis following THC. Unlike THC, which produces a high, CBD is non-intoxicating. CBD also contains a host of potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-anxiety, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and seizure suppressing properties.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Why is CBD sometimes illegal?

All types of cannabis, including hemp strains that don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, were considered illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law categorized all cannabis as Schedule 1, which defined the plant as a highly addictive substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

The 2018 Farm Bill re-classified hemp as an agricultural commodity, and made its cultivation federally legal. Further, the act removed some forms of cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, and marijuana refers to cannabis with more than 0.3% THC. This distinction in federal law effectively legalized CBD that is derived from cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, as long as it’s been cultivated according to federal and state regulations.

The 2018 Farm Bill legislation does not mean that CBD derived from hemp is universally legal throughout the United States. According to the Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to regulate CBD product labeling, including therapeutic claims and the use of CBD as a food additive. The FDA has already maintained that even hemp-derived CBD may not legally be added to food and beverages, or marketed as a dietary supplement. Although the organization has begun to re-evaluate some of these stances on legal CBD products, the FDA has not revised its regulations. The agency also has been strict in its stance against any labeling that could be perceived as a medical claim about CBD.

In addition to federal regulation of CBD, the Farm Bill also gave states the option to regulate and prohibit the cultivation and commerce of CBD. States may also regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently, even before the FDA finalizes its policies. Washington is an example of a state that has devised its own regulatory framework for CBD.

Washington CBD laws

With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, an influx of CBD-infused products hit the Washington market. In October 2019, Washington banned the sale of hemp-derived CBD in food and beverage products in line with current policies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

While the ban is recent, and the state hasn’t made any attempts to penalize or prosecute retailers or CBD brands, representatives of the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) are actively working to remove these products from shelves. The WSDA recently released a statement outlining their stance on CBD in food and as a medicine.

Although food containing CBD is not permitted to be created or sold in Washington, WSDA-licensed food processors can use other hemp products in foods. These foods include hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein powder, and hemp seed oil, provided they comply with all other requirements. Topical products containing CBD are also still available for purchase from retailers.

CBD oil containing more than 0.3% THC is available, but can only be sold and purchased in licensed cannabis dispensaries. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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CBD oil containing more than 0.3% THC is available, but can only be sold and purchased in licensed cannabis dispensaries. Consumable CBD products can now only be sold only in licensed retail marijuana dispensaries.

Licensing requirements for CBD

Currently, anyone intending to grow, process, or market industrial hemp must apply for a license through the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot program (IHRP). The program recently combined the separate application forms into one universal application to simplify the process and reduce the amount of supporting documentation necessary to apply for a license.

In the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Department of Agriculture issued a new policy statement on the transition from the IHRP to the implementation of a commercial hemp program that conforms to federal rules and revised state laws. The most notable changes to the updated hemp program include:

  • Licensed growers are solely responsible for procuring hemp seed and must notify the IHRP of the source of the seed.
  • Licensed growers are no longer required to maintain the four-mile minimum buffer distance from a licensed marijuana grower.
  • IHRP grower license requirements have been simplified to align with new hemp plan requirements.

When the new hemp program is adopted, those already licensed to grow hemp under the IHRP may transfer.

All industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC when tested. According to the WSDA, any industrial hemp field, greenhouse or harvest that tests over 0.3% no longer meets the definition of industrial hemp under the law. The IHRP is currently considering the most appropriate enforcement actions.

Washington CBD possession limits

Consumers are allowed to purchase or possess up to one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused CBD edibles in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-derived CBD liquids.

Consumers are allowed to purchase or possess up to 72 ounces of marijuana-derived CBD liquids. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Possession above the legal limits is a criminal offense. There is no penalty articulated specifically for those with excess quantities of marijuana-derived CBD edibles or liquids. However, possession of one ounce to forty grams of cannabis is treated as a misdemeanor. Those charged will receive a prison sentence of up to 90 days and a maximum fine of $1000.

The possession of more than forty grams of cannabis is treated as a felony, resulting in a minimum of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Where to buy CBD in Washington

Currently, CBD is banned in the use of dietary supplements, food, and beverage products in the state of Washington. At present, the WSDA is not performing raids, so many of these products remain on the shelves at retailers, such as grocery stores and coffee shops.

The ban does not affect CBD products sold at licensed dispensaries, where shoppers can find and purchase products containing CBD, including CBD oil and edibles. There are benefits to buying CBD oil and other CBD products directly from a licensed retailer, such as immediate access to a product and the knowledge that it conforms to legal requirements.

Consumers can shop from a wide variety of online outlets for CBD products, read consumer reviews, and ship purchases to their homes. Online shopping also offers the ability to gather detailed information about each product, compare different products and product types, and comparison shop to find the best price. CBD brands also often have their own e-commerce shop, allowing you to purchase your desired CBD products straight from the source. Products purchased online, however, are unlikely to be in line with Washington state legal requirements.

How to read CBD labels and packaging

The 2018 Farm Bill shifted oversight of CBD from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At present, there are no clear regulations regarding CBD labels and packaging.

Although the regulations are in flux, companies selling CBD must still make legitimate claims on their labels. Reputable CBD producers will typically include the following information on their CBD product labels.

  • Amount of active CBD per serving.
  • Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
  • Net weight.
  • Manufacturer or distributor name.
  • Suggested use.
  • Full spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
  • Batch or date code.

This information helps the consumer to make an educated decision on the quality and efficacy of a CBD product. If this information is absent from the label, it’s best to look for an alternative product.

Is CBD oil legal in Washington? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD? Why is CBD sometimes illegal? Washington CBD laws