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Is CBD Legal in North Carolina?

The use of CBD, medical marijuana, and even recreational marijuana is legal in many states. North Carolina, however, has some of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to these substances. The laws in North Carolina are not only harsh but also confusing. Here, we go over some frequently asked questions about CBD use, in particular, to clear up some of that confusion. 

First of all, what is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is an extract derived from either a marijuana or hemp plant. The distinction between the plant is important, because, according to the federal government, CBD derived from marijuana is illegal, whereas CBD derived from hemp is generally legal. 

What are the federal rules regarding CBD?

Under the federal Farm Bill, CBD derived from hemp can be commercially produced, distributed, and sold in the United States if the ingredient that gives a user a “high” – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – is below 0.3% and a licensed grower produced it. In North Carolina, only those growers who apply and are granted a license by the State are authorized to grow hemp. 

This federal law adds to the confusion over CBD use: if hemp is legal, does that mean CBD is legal in North Carolina? Unfortunately for potential users in the State, it does not.

When is CBD legal in North Carolina? 

The short answer: only in very limited circumstances. North Carolina is not user-friendly when it comes to recreational marijuana or even CBD use. 

The only situation where any marijuana or hemp product is 100% legal is for a very particular medical use. North Carolina’s Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act allows children to use CBD hemp oil (so long as certain maximum THC levels are met) for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. 

Does all of this mean you cannot buy or use CBD in North Carolina? 

Technically, it is considered illegal to use or possess CBD products in North Carolina (without the medical use exception described above). However, CBD products remain widely available. Because products derived from industrial hemp are legal to be used, sold, and cultivated under federal law (so long as the THC content remains under 0.3%), many CBD products are produced around the country.

Many retailers and manufacturers take the stance that, because their CBD products are legal under federal law, they can legally ship these products to North Carolina. Not only that, but you will find many stores in the state that also sell products containing CBD oil. 

In North Carolina, there remains a tension between the state and the federal laws regarding CBD, which can cause quite a lot of confusion for consumers. To be on the safe side, it is best to avoid purchasing or using CBD in the State. However, be aware that the product will be widely available, both online and in stores, so it is up to your discretion as to whether to partake. 

Seeking Legal Representation for North Carolina Drug Crimes

If you’ve recently been charged with a drug crime in North Carolina, Cotten Law can help. Jeremy has represented tens of thousands of clients charged with offenses such as yours and has hundreds of stellar reviews online. Our offices serve clients in central North Carolina including Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties. Give our office a call or click over to our main page to chat live with an assistant 24 hours a day.

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