In short, yes, CBD oil that is derived from hemp is considered legal in Florida.
That said, the legality of CBD oil in Florida does not come without some stipulations.
Over the past 6 years, CBD products have faced an uphill battle with regulators.
Table Of Contents
- What is CBD Oil?
- 2018 Farm Bill
- Florida State Laws on CBD and THC
- Where to Buy CBD Oil in Florida?
- Is CBD Oil the Same as Cannabis Oil?
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil has gained immense popularity over the past 10 years. CBD is produced naturally by the cannabis plant. This plant is categorized into two sub-categories based on the amount of THC that is present. A cannabis plant containing < 0.3% THC is labeled as hemp, or industrial hemp. If the amount of THC present in a cannabis plant is above 0.3%, then the plant is labeled as marijuana.
THC is the predominant cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant. It is responsible for the psychoactive, euphoric effects that are commonly referred to when consuming marijuana. While there are those who utilize THC in a recreational manner, researchers are uncovering potential medical benefits at an astounding pace.
Often considered THC’s cousin, the cannabinoid CBD packs a punch in terms of potential health benefits but lacks recreational value because it cannot get users high. CBD can be extracted from both of the aforementioned sub-categories of the cannabis plant. However, more often than not, CBD is derived from hemp.
Due to its popularity, manufacturers have infused CBD into countless types of products. From edibles, sodas, salves, vapes, capsules, and more, CBD has taken the retail market by storm. However, the most widely sought-after CBD product is without a doubt CBD oil, sometimes referred to as a CBD tincture. CBD oil is also sometimes labeled as hemp oil, which you can read more about here.
While much of the current evidence regarding CBD’s health benefits is anecdotal, researchers are working around the clock to establish concrete proof of CBD’s potential. Preliminary information has already pointed to the possibility of CBD aiding in conditions like anxiety, PTSD, pain management, and more.
Be sure to check out our guide on the benefits of CBD, if you’re interested in more information.
2018 Farm Bill
A huge leap forward for CBD oil was made in December 2018. This progressive step was due to the President signing into law the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill.
This bill removed hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from a schedule I controlled substance classification. This opened the floodgates for farmers around the nation to begin cultivating industrial hemp.
Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill also helped alleviate the apprehension of retailers who wished to sell CBD products. Even though the Farm Bill allocated regulatory power to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA has been slow to express any finalized opinions of CBD.
Ironically, the FDA approved the prescription drug Epidiolex before the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law. This oral medication, which at its core is a purified form of CBD, was created by pharmaceutical giant Greenwich Biosciences, Inc.
Florida State Laws on CBD and THC
Aside from the recent changes in CBD regulation on the federal level, Florida has also implemented changes at the state level.
These changes started with the 2014 Senate Bill 1030. This bill laid out language that allowed registered medical cannabis patients to purchase CBD oil that contains low-THC. The federal limit on allowable THC in CBD oil is < 0.3%. With the passing of SB 1030, registered medical cannabis patients suffering from terminal conditions, seizures, muscular spasms, and specific types of cancer became eligible to use CBD oil with up to 0.8% THC.
By 2019, five years after the initial passing of SB 1030, Florida regulators established and put into law Senate Bill 182. The passing of SB 182 was a huge step forward for Florida’s medical cannabis patients.
This bill paved the way for registered patients to use their legal cannabis however they choose. Previously, registered medical cannabis patients were prohibited from specifically smoking cannabis flower, although medical cannabis flower was completely legal.
Another win for SB 182 was the removal of THC content limitations for registered medical cannabis patients. This established an environment that permitted medical cannabis dispensaries to carry products containing high concentrations of THC and/or CBD.
There still existed room for interpretation regarding Florida’s CBD laws until the passing of Senate Bill 1020 in July 2019. This bill provided clarification as to the types of CBD products that are considered legal in Florida.
In many ways, SB 1020 rode the coattails of the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill explicitly defines what the state of Florida considers legal hemp. Furthermore, it clarifies the legality of concentrated hemp-based extracts, an area of great discussion and confusion amongst many brands at the time.
Some Confusion Remains
Though Florida lawmakers have established what seems to be crystal clear rules and regulations regarding CBD product allowances, there seems to be confusion over interpretation of the law.
For instance, in 2019, Hester Burkhalter, a grandmother from North Carolina, was arrested at Walt Disney World in Florida for possession of a 1oz bottle of federally legal CBD oil.
Burkhalter, who was visiting the theme park with her husband, daughter and two adopted children, explained to authorities that her doctor recommended she try CBD oil for her arthritis. However, Orange County deputies still placed her under arrest for felony drug possession.
Burkhalter’s legal representation has officially filed a lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company seeking upwards of $18 million in damages in addition to several million for her family members.
Do I need A Prescription for CBD Oil in Florida?
No, you do not need a prescription or doctor’s recommendation for CBD oil in Florida unless the CBD oil contains more than 0.3% THC. Healthcare providers are permitted to discuss CBD with patients in Florida, but if they want to make an official recommendation or prescription, they must be certified by the state of Florida to do so.
Patients who want to use CBD oil that is derived from marijuana or has more than 0.3% THC must be registered as a Florida medical cannabis patient. This certification provides access to a litany of cannabis-based products available in dispensaries.
Florida’s possession limitations
Though CBD and THC may come from the same plant, they do not maintain the same possession limits in the state of Florida. In fact, there is currently no limitation on the amount of CBD that an individual may possess in Florida.
The rules are a little different when it comes to THC. Registered medical cannabis patients are currently limited to four ounces of cannabis in their possession.
Where To Buy CBD Oil in Florida
Fortunately for CBD users, there are essentially no limitations in regard to the types of establishments permitted to sell CBD products. CBD oil can be found in many types of businesses, including health supplement retailers, fueling stations, grocery stores, dispensaries, and online.
With CBD oil and other CBD-infused products being widely available, it is important to be an informed user. If you’re purchasing CBD oil by a brand that you’re unfamiliar with, take a moment to research the brand’s reputation online. We also recommend using our Trusted Brands resource.
What Type of CBD Oil Should I Buy?
Once you’ve decided that you would like to try CBD oil, you will need to determine if you want a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate-based product.
These distinctions let the user know what type of CBD extract was used in the production of their CBD oil. Full-spectrum products are typically chosen by users who want the full-array of cannabinoids, including THC. Individuals who may be drug tested or who are sensitive to THC should avoid full-spectrum CBD products.
Broad-spectrum CBD products are nearly identical to full-spectrum products except that the THC has been removed. This is a great option for individuals who are not able to use full-spectrum products.
Isolate-based CBD products are another option for those trying to avoid THC. Extraction labs isolate the CBD molecule into a concentrated crystalized form. CBD is typically the only cannabinoid present in CBD isolate products.
If you’re a registered medical cannabis patient, there are a few more options available. CBD oil with high THC concentrations are available at most dispensaries. These types of products will almost certainly result in the user feeling slightly intoxicated with higher doses. We recommend speaking with your dispensary’s specialists if you want to incorporate this CBD oil into your routine.
Is CBD Oil the Same as Cannabis Oil?
No. Even though these two share similarities, they are far from the same.
CBD oil’s primary active ingredient is the non-psychoactive CBD molecule. The primary active compound in cannabis oil is typically THC, which can be intoxicating.
Both of these oils are typically produced in similar fashions. Extraction labs precisely exude the desired compound (CBD or THC) into a concentrated extract form. This extract undergoes a multi-step process that prepares it for use in retail products. The last step involves lab technicians infusing the extract with the intended form factor of the final product.
CBD oil derived from hemp and containing less than 0.3% THC is legal for anyone to possess without a physician’s recommendation in Florida. However, this doesn’t mean that all CBD oils are legal for anyone. Purchasing CBD oil derived from marijuana or containing more than 0.3% THC requires that the user be a registered patient of Florida’s medical cannabis program.
Another thing that users should consider is the potential intoxication of CBD oil with more than 0.3% THC. This isn’t a concern with CBD products that are low-THC or THC-free. Remember, the intoxication is a result of the psychoactive THC, not the CBD.
If you’re unsure about your CBD oil’s THC content, check the label. CBD product labels should disclose the product’s THC concentration. If you’re not able to find this information on the label, then check out the brand’s website or reach out to them for clarification.
How Do I Know if My CBD Oil Is Legitimate?
One of the best ways to ensure you’re using CBD oil from a reputable brand is by referencing our Trusted Brands tool.
We also recommend checking the brand’s website for a certificate of analysis (COA). This document is provided to brands by third-party laboratories who analyze and record the product’s contents. If you’re not able to locate a COA for your product, you should reach out to the brand through their website. Most brands are more than happy to discuss their quality control measures.
If you’re unsure how to interpret your product’s COA, most brands will also have no problem explaining how their COA should be read. These are all common questions that brands constantly receive. A reputable CBD company will always go out of their way to make their customers feel comfortable with a product.
If you’re a Florida resident and want to try CBD oil, you’re in luck. Thanks to regulatory changes in the past five years and advancements in the industry, CBD products are widely available across the state.
If you are interested in CBD oil with higher THC concentrations, you will need to qualify and register as a medical cannabis patient in Florida. For a list of qualifying conditions or to read about medical cannabis use in Florida, check out the Florida Health Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
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