Cannabidiol (CBD) products are often thought of as marijuana’s “kinder, gentler” cousins. Lacking the psychoactive high that comes along with the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana, CBD products won’t get you high — but they are being used to treat everything from epilepsy to chronic pain.
Thanks to a farm bill passed in 2018 by Congress, hemp products were carved apart from regular marijuana, which meant that CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are no longer considered a controlled substance. A similar law was passed in 2018 that exempted industrial hemp from Missouri’s definition of marijuana.
So what’s the problem? Sellers of CBD products can still end up being charged with drug distribution and other criminal offenses simply because of a lack of clarity in the law.
While CBD products have cropped up everywhere, it’s still against federal law to put CBD in food. It’s also illegal to claim that CBD products have health benefits of any kind — despite all of the evidence otherwise. Plus, the state’s laws only exempt industrial hemp products from its list of controlled substances — and CBD can be sourced from either hemp or marijuana.
Experts recommend that sellers be very cautious about their CBD products. The lack of clarity in the laws and the unwillingness of federal authorities to regulate the industry, combined with CBD’s rising popularity, has created a free-for-all in the market. There are a lot of unscrupulous suppliers out there who aren’t really invested in quality control of their products. A product on your store’s shelves could be labeled in a way that violates federal law (by saying that it can treat a medical condition) or it could contain more than 0.3% THC. (When researchers tested CBD products sold online, 43% of samples had more THC than it stated on their labels.)
If you’re charged with a drug crime (or several) related to CBD products, take immediate action to protect your rights and your future.