Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
Connecticut residents, like people all over the country, have become increasingly curious about the potential benefits of cannabidiol, also known as CBD. CBD is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana, and also appears in high concentrations in hemp. Unlike THC, cannabidiol does not have any psychoactive effects. However, some research and anecdotal accounts seem to indicate that CBD can have benefits that include pain relief, relief from spasms and seizures, anti-inflammatory properties and may offer relief from conditions like anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Most people, however, wish to ensure that the remedies they are seeking are legal before they buy. Is CBD legal in Connecticut? The answer is yes, although some restrictions do still exist.
Is CBD oil legal in Connecticut?
CBD products with a THC content under .3% are legal nationwide through the Farm Bill. However, the bill allowed individual states to regulate how hemp products could be produced and sold. In Connecticut, hemp-derived CBD has been legal since January 2019. Cannabis-derived CBD is available to those with medical marijuana cards.
Hemp-derived CBD products can be attained throughout the state, regardless of the purchaser’s age or medical ID status. Legal CBD products in the state include CBD oils, extracts, capsules, creams and more. Because CBD is considered a food product in Connecticut, rather than a supplement, it can also be used in a range of CBD edibles.
CBD products in Connecticut are tested before sale to ensure that customers know what they are getting. For instance, marijuana-based CBD products sold in dispensaries are tested for the presence of molds, toxins, pesticides and heavy metals. Hemp-derived CBD products must be tested to ensure that they do not contain more than .3% THC.
Some CBD adherents say that they find marijuana-based CBD products superior. Experts from medical marijuana dispensaries say that marijuana-derived CBD offers full spectrum oils from the plant, while hemp-derived CBD products involve pressed stocks, seeds and oils. However, other CBD proponents maintain that the CBD from hemp is the same cannabinoid and equally effective. Because there is no need to obtain a medical ID card to get hemp-based CBD, many people prefer that product because of its accessibility within the state.
What are the current CBD laws in Connecticut?
At one time, Connecticut’s CBD laws were a bit convoluted. Medical marijuana legalization has meant that registered individuals could attain marijuana-derived CBD. However, hemp-derived CBD was illegal in the state. That changed in January 2019 when Senate Bill 893 was signed into law.
Under Senate Bill 893, which is also known as An Act Concerning A Pilot Program for Hemp Production, hemp products, including CBD, can be grown, processed and sold in the state of Connecticut. Growers and processors must obtain a license before starting their enterprises in Connecticut.
People who wish to grow hemp in Connecticut must have the location where they are growing inspected. They can only use specific certified seeds and strains. All hemp grown in the state must be certified at an approved laboratory. Hemp grown in Connecticut must have less than .3% THC dry weight to be legal.
There is no special license to sell hemp products, including CBD, in Connecticut. Further, hemp products like CBD oil are considered food products in the state rather than supplements. They can be sold in forms that include CBD oil, extracts, creams and even edible forms such as brownies, gummies and smoothies. The only limitation is that those selling CBD products cannot make health claims about their wares.
While recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Connecticut, the state has decriminalized possession. In accordance with a bill signed by Governor Dannel Malloy in June 2011, possession of small amounts of cannabis is no longer a criminal act. What this means is that people caught with small amounts for personal use will not face prison time or criminal record. In Connecticut, possession of half an ounce or less carries a fine of $150 to $500 for first and second offenses. Possession of over half an ounce is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to a year in jail.
There have also been attempts to legalize recreational marijuana products across the board in Connecticut. A bill was proposed in the state legislature in 2018, but did not make it out of committee.
A bill that would legalize recreational use of marijuana was introduced again to the state legislature in 2019. Under the bill, individuals who were 21 years of age or older would be free to purchase and possess marijuana in the state. Additionally, people who had previously been convicted of marijuana possession would have those charges stricken from their criminal records. Individuals in Connecticut would be permitted to grow up to six plants for personal use. This would include varieties that touted high CBD and low THC content. At least 25% of licenses for growers, processors, wholesalers and retail outlets for marijuana sales would be in enterprise zones. These are poorer towns and cities in the state, which would ensure a diversified cannabis market. However, the bill died in committee and was not put to a vote.
According to Connecticut’s governor Ned Lamont, the state’s legislature is likely to take on the question of legal recreational marijuana in 2021. With nearby states like New Jersey recently legalizing cannabis use in the state and Connecticut facing funding shortages, he feels that the measure is likely to pass. If it does, it will likely mean that marijuana-based CBD will available to all of those eligible to buy recreational marijuana in the state.
Can I purchase CBD in Connecticut?
CBD is legal, as long as you observe the nuances of Connecticut state law. Marijuana-based CBD is available to medical marijuana card holders. Even though CBD is not intoxicating, it is still illegal to possess marijuana-based CBD if you are not a medical marijuana patient.
You can purchase hemp-based CBD in Connecticut. Hemp-based CBD is available at pharmacies, retail boutiques, convenience stores, natural food stores and other outlets. There is no age limit for buying hemp-based CBD products in the state, nor are you required to have a medical ID card.
Connecticut considers CBD a food product, so it can be sold liberally in forms that include CBD oil, alcohol-based extracts, capsules, creams and more. You can even find CBD infused edible products that range from brownies to smoothies to pizza sauces.
It is also perfectly permissible in the state of Connecticut to buy CBD oil and other products online. Many people choose to shop this way in order to get better prices or a better quality product. Experts in CBD recommend that you inquire where a CBD producer does their laboratory testing and learn what you can about their results. By shopping carefully, CBD buyers in Connecticut can ensure that they have a quality product that contains the advertised amounts of CBD.