CBD In New York

2021 Complete Guide

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Is CBD in New York Legal? | NY CBD 2021

It’s 2021, do you know where your CBD is, New York? Did you know CBD oil is perfectly legal in New York, but it’s illegal to add CBD to food? Crazy right? In this post, we’ll talk about this and other absurd aspects of New York’s CBD laws like the fact that all shops that sell CBD oil will soon be required to be licensed by the state. There’s also some good news. Let get right into it.

Table of Contents

A brief history of hemp and CBD laws in New York

Cannabis in New York State has been a long and winding road. The confusion over the legality of CBD in New York is just the latest chapter in a long story that started more than 100 years ago. 

Back in 1914, the state of New York began requiring a doctor’s prescription to legally possess hashish (back then, hemp flower was not very potent). Thirteen years later the state banned cannabis altogether — hemp along with it. Hemp refers to non-intoxicating strains of cannabis. 

In 1939 New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia assigned a committee to investigate the issue of cannabis. The report didn’t come out until 1944. Ironically, the committee concluded that cannabis was not associated with addiction, school children, or juvenile delinquency. The report infuriated Harry Anslinger, commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Other than that, the five-year-long study fell on deaf ears.

The evolution of New York hemp CBD laws

New York’s CBD oil policies really only started to turn around in the past decade — the same time that CBD oil started to become abundantly available in the state. 

In July of 2014, New York legalized medical marijuana for patients suffering from a list of qualifying medical conditions (listed below). Today the number of patients participating in New York’s medical marijuana program is nearing 100,000. 

In 2015, after the US federal government initiated a nationwide hemp pilot program, New York State launched the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. The measure permitted a limited number of educational institutions to grow hemp for research purposes.

In his 2018 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo initiated a study on the effects of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. In its study, The Department of Health recommended the state legalize cannabis citing potential benefits to public health and safety as well as the state’s economy. 

The study was soon followed by the drafting of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act bill, intended to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in the state. The bill never made it to the Governor’s desk. However, lawmakers did expand decriminalization.

Why are we so concerned with the legality of marijuana when we’re here to discuss CBD oil? Keep in mind, that all this time, there was nothing in state law to delineate hemp from marijuana. Therefore, technically, marijuana laws also applied to hemp and CBD oil. 

Nevertheless, New York CBD retailers kept selling CBD oil and a range of other CBD products. Although some sellers did get some pushback from the state (we’ll talk about that later) for the most part, New York law enforcement officials and agencies have not bothered CBD retailers. 

Everything changed in 2019 when, on the final day of New York’s legislative session, the lawmakers passed two new bills. The first measure legalized the production of hemp in the state. It also laid the foundation for the development of a regulatory system. The second bill laid out how CBD oil could be produced and sold. 

Many experts consider New York’s hemp and CBD program to be one of the most comprehensive regulatory frameworks in the country.

Today there are more than 400 licensed hemp farms in New York — a 400 percent increase in just two years. Further, more than 20,000 acres of hemp were grown in New York in 2019. That’s up from 3,500 the prior year. There are also 108 licensed hemp processors in the state.

New York hemp CBD FAQ | 2021

Is hemp CBD oil legal in New York?

As we hinted at above, New York CBD laws have been evolving rapidly in the past few years. Although the state had a hemp pilot program before the most recent hemp bill, CBD oil was still, technically, illegal. 

Furthermore, in July of 2019, the state Agriculture Department sent letters to hemp growers declaring that the use of CBD in foods and beverages was not permitted. As a result, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene implemented a policy of embargoing CBD-infused food and drinks. 

The signing of the hemp CBD bill cleared up a lot of issues. However, although it legalized the production and sale of CBD oil, it still didn’t deal with the use of CBD in foods. Furthermore, it put in place strict regulations for growers, processors, and retailers alike, all of which will require a license.

What about CBD oil made from marijuana that contains THC? That’s the buzz-inducing doppelganger of CBD. The possession of cannabis oil, as it’s called, is not legal in the state of New York — that is unless you’re a card-carrying medical marijuana patient. Anyone caught with cannabis oil, depending on how much you have, will be facing either a ticket or misdemeanor drug possession charges.

It’s important to note here that the law forbids the sale and use of smokable cannabis products such as dried flower and hashish. Patients are only allowed to possess non-smokable preparations such as oils, tinctures, capsules, vape oils, patches, lozenges.

Can doctors in New York prescribe CBD oil?

No, New York doctors cannot prescribe any form of cannabis products because they are not considered FDA-approved pharmaceuticals. Rather they are considered to be herbal preparations — the problem being that the content of herbs can vary from batch to batch. 

However, there is one exception. A drug known as Epidiolex, which is essentially purified CBD, was approved by the FDA and can now be prescribed to children with certain intractable cases of certain types of epilepsy. 

Doctors are permitted to recommend CBD oil and cannabis oil to their patients. If the doctor feels the patient can benefit from preparations containing THC the patient might be eligible for a medical marijuana card. 

Also, keep in mind that, aside from Epidiolex, insurance companies are not required to cover the cost of CBD oil or any other cannabis products.

What medical conditions are being treated with hemp CBD oil in New York?

Millions of CBD oil users are treating a wide array of medical conditions with CBD. The most common reasons that people claim to use CBD oil are to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, reduce pain, and help them sleep.

However, scientific studies have been conducted on more than 50 distinct medical conditions from Alzheimer’s to obesity. Many of those studies suggest that CBD oil is, indeed, safe and effective. 

In order to be eligible for medical cannabis, however, you must be suffering from one of the New York qualifying conditions.

Here are some of the many Medical conditions being treated with hemp CBD oil in New York:

Can I legally buy CBD oil products online in New York?

Yes, you can buy all sorts of CBD products online. But you really need to do some homework no matter where you buy your CBD. Although you’ll find a much wider selection of CBD products online, there are also a lot of bad companies out there just trying to make a buck on the CBD craze by selling inferior products. 

Also, buyer beware: If you are sold products that contain THC, even by mistake, this puts you at risk of failing a drug test or sobriety test.

What CBD products are legally available in New York?

As it stands, technically speaking, all CBD products are legal aside from food and beverages infused with CBD. But that doesn’t mean these items are not being sold. 

Here are just some of the forms of CBD oil and CBD-infused products that are legally available in New York:

Where can I legally buy CBD oil in New York?

So, can you just walk into a store and buy CBD oil in New York? Here’s the rule of thumb: if you find it in a store, you can legally buy it. The onus rests on the stores that sell CBD products to assure that the products do not contain more than the limit of 0.3 percent THC. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be arrested — so save your receipt.

CBD products are most often sold in smoke shops and health-food stores, but they are being more and more common and can be found in everything from convenience stores to flea markets. 

If you’re a card-carrying medical marijuana patient, and you want your THC, you’ll have to get your CBD oil at a licensed medical marijuana dispensary. 

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In New York

Can I legally grow hemp in New York?

Yes, you theoretically could legally grow hemp in New York — just not in your back yard. In order to be legal, you need to be a licensed hemp farmer. New York State is accepting grower applications from individuals and businesses for the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. See the links below.

Keep in mind that it’s still very early in the state’s hemp program and law enforcement has not yet caught up to the reality of the law. Recently officials seized a shipment of hemp and arrested the driver on drug charges. Although the charges were dropped, the grower claims the incident cost the company $40,000 in lost business and legal fees and is suing the state for a million dollars. 

The Department is not accepting CBD processor applications at this time.

Can I sell hemp CBD oil legally in New York?

Okay, so you have to be a bona fide farmer to grow CBD-rich hemp. What about selling CBD? Is it legal to sell CBD oil in New York? Again that answer is yes, but you need a license from the state. 

Furthermore, you can’t sell just any old CBD oil. The law specifically prohibits the sale of out-of-state hemp extract unless those products meet New York’s regulations including lab testing to assure purity and potency. 

Also, under the new law, selling foods and beverages containing CBD is subject to a fine of up to $600 per incident. The state has made it perfectly clear that it intends to uphold the no-CBD-in-food law. Back in February 2019, city health officials came down on bakeries, restaurants, coffee shops, and food vendors that were adding CBD to their offerings. Shortly thereafter, the state forced a coffee shop in LaFayette to stop selling CBD-infused coffee. And, at the 2019 New York State Fair officials stopped vendors from selling edible or drinkable CBD.

Entities interested in selling CBD products in New York are encouraged to consult with an attorney to understand the law and risks associated with making and selling such products.

Here are some helpful links to learn more about hemp CBD oil

Learn more about hemp CBD laws in New York

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