Disclaimer: Please note that the information found on this page was independently researched by Highland Pharms. It is not presented by lawyers or other legal experts. We have made great efforts to verify the accuracy of this content, but it should never be interpreted as legal advice in any capacity. It is the sole responsibility of each reader to know their local laws. If you have further questions on these topics, please check with your local law enforcement agencies.
CBD Oil in Pennsylvania
If you have not closely followed the legal history of cannabis in the United States, you can easily find yourself confused when it comes to the question of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and its legality. For a long time, federal and state government officials seemed pretty confused too!
But you have probably come to this page asking specifically about the legality of CBD in the state of PA. So, is CBD legal in the Keystone State?
The short answer is that, yes, CBD is legal and widely available in Pennsylvania—but there are conditions related to the situation that are worth discussing.
The fact of the matter is, while CBD oil is often legal, it is not always legal. It depends on the jurisdiction where one is asking the question, and it depends on the origin of the CBD product in question. Which cannabis plant did the CBD in question come from?
CBD oil products can be made from marijuana. But they can also be made from industrial hemp. While industrial hemp and its derivative products are now legal in most parts of the United States, marijuana remains a highly restricted and controlled substance by federal law. But both marijuana and hemp are cannabis plants and are often indistinguishable in appearance.
So, according to the law, what is the big difference between hemp and marijuana? The difference between the two is all about chemical composition.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly referred to as THC, is present in both plants, but at vastly higher concentrations when it comes to marijuana. In fact, for a plant to be considered hemp, rather than marijuana, the law requires that the plant contain no more than 0.3% of THC on a dry weight basis. THC is a psychoactive compound, capable of altering the mental state of the user. This means that, as far as legal definitions go, marijuana can cause a user to achieve a “high”—legal hemp cannot.
A user cannot reach a state of intoxication by using hemp-derived CBD. Such intoxication is possible when using CBD derived from marijuana, but these products are not currently legal to the general residents of PA.
Is CBD Oil legal in Pennsylvania?
Good news! CBD oil is legal in Pennsylvania—so long as it has been derived from legally-recognized hemp (containing less than 0.3% THC). CBD oil can also be derived from marijuana, but such products are not legal for possession or use by members of the general public.
On the other hand, hemp-derived products, including CBD, are increasing in availability and in popularity at a rapid pace. Hemp-derived CBD can be found across PA in both general and specialty retail environments, as well as convenience stores.
What are the current CBD laws in PA?
To get a full understanding of the current legal situation as it relates to cannabis and CBD in Pennsylvania, it is helpful to examine the evolution of the state’s legal framework surrounding cannabis plants.
Marijuana remains illegal for recreational use, but possession of marijuana has been decriminalized in certain cities and a larger push for full legalization remains ongoing with expressed support from Governor Tom Wolf. With New Jersey moving toward full legalization, many PA lawmakers argue that the state will miss out on an economic opportunity if they do not act soon to fully legalize all forms of cannabis.
On the medical front, things are less murky. Medicinal use of marijuana was approved in 2016 after the passage of Senate Bill 3, signed into law by Governor Wolf in April of that year.
On the hemp front, progress began in 2016 when the state established its Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and passed House Bill 967. This program was established after the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, and was a forerunner to more federal legislation, the 2018 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp at the federal level by defining hemp as an industrial crop, low in THC concentration.
Over time, more and more regulations related to hemp have been lifted by state agencies, making it easier to cultivate and commercialize. This happened primarily at the state’s agriculture department.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture is responsible for the rules and regulations regarding the cultivation and testing of hemp and has largely aligned itself with the federal views on hemp. The state has no additional legal barriers to hemp and hemp-derived products like hemp CBD.
Can I purchase CBD in Pennsylvania?
Not only can you legally purchase CBD within PA, but if you are a current resident of the state, you can order CBD online and have it shipped to your front door! Many CBD users prefer to do their shopping online because of the convenience and ease of buying in just a few clicks. And, it should be noted, that the variety CBD products available online often beats the selection available in local retail environments.
Highland Pharms’ CBD products range in format from drops and tinctures, to capsules, gummies, lotions, creams, and even pet treats!
We hope that if you are a resident of PA and are looking to purchase CBD, that you try our cleanly-and-legally produced hemp-derived CBD products! We would be pleased to send our products straight to your home whether you live in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg, or anywhere in between!