Is CBD Federally Legal in the United States
Published 01 Sep 2019

Cannabidiol, or CBD, remains controversial because it is one cannabinoid of many in cannabis plants. However, CBD derived from industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound so famous for making users “high,” is now legal at the federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill. Despite this, making or finding CBD throughout the country is not easy.

In fact, no two states are the same. All 50 states, including Washington, D.C., have their own cannabis laws, as well as different journeys to reforming them. For this reason, it is not only reasonable, but also very wise, to worry if that CBD oil you just purchased at your local food store is actually legal or not. Unless you live in a state with medical and recreational freedoms, your state might still arrest you.

Local authorities across the country continue to treat CBD like a demon drug, as opposed to a promising, if not yet approved by the FDA, health supplement. Despite this, the patchwork of laws governing marijuana in each state should not cause you serious headache. Public support is growing for legal cannabis, and the federal legality of CBD, as well as its high profile status, makes prosecution unlikely.

Even so, laws remain sufficiently hazy, enough that you should continue to exercise logic and extreme caution when buying CBD products. If you already know, or even suspect, that charges are likely if caught with even a joint in a specific state, then do your homework before going ahead and buying large quantities of CBD if living or visiting there.

Thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018, states are reforming their CBD laws, albeit it very slowly in some cases, but until they all join the fray, we have done the research for you and mapped out just where you can buy CBD peacefully, without fear of legal repercussions. However, it is important to remember that cannabis laws, including those governing CBD, are ever changing, but here is where you can get some:

North Dakota

The state constitution still labels hemp a controlled substance, but despite this discrepancy, officials are not enforcing it while it aligns itself with federal law. You can buy CBD here freely and easily.


CBD is popular in Arizona, with dispensaries displaying it publicly in windows. Furthermore, CBD businesses are operating without restrictions throughout the state, so shop local when there.


Arkansas legalized hemp-derived CBD in 2017 already, with the first CBD businesses opening in early 2018. Expansion has been rapid since then, but the state still has very strict marijuana laws in place.


It is legal to trade in and possess CBD in Indiana, but authorities are slow to adjust. One police department continues to warn people of arrest for CBD, even if it does derive from low-THC hemp.


Kentucky has a thriving hemp market already, with many tobacco farmers now growing hemp. CBD is legal, but until federal law clarifies itself, enforcement is not uniform wherever you go here.


Minneapolis opened the state’s first dedicated CBD store in 2018, with farmers excited about the potential of hemp as a cash crop. However, online purchases may be easier, depending what you need.


CBD is legal in Missouri, provided it derives from hemp. Police will still search you at every opportunity for cannabis-related products, and if they find CBD, they will send it for testing to ensure its legality.


Montana has no laws that prohibit the buying, selling, or possession of CBD. Stores are opening in cities across the state where you can buy CBD freely. Just do not visit its weed-hostile neighbors.

New Hampshire

CBD is widely available in New Hampshire, despite the state not being particularly enthusiastic about marijuana. Your biggest worry when buying CBD here is its quality. Research suppliers before buying.

New Jersey

CBD stores litter the state of New Jersey, found everywhere from Newark to Atlantic City and further beyond. It is home to some of the worst rated stores countrywide, so consider yourself warned.

New York

New York does not permit restaurants to sell CBD-infused foods or drinks, but you can find it in any other store in the Big Apple. CBD is everywhere, but there are concerns about quality. Shop carefully.

North Carolina

You can find CBD products easily in North Carolina, but the state does not permit CBD-infused food, drink, or supplements. The laws are awkwardly strict, but you can buy other CBD items with ease.


CBD stores must obtain food licenses to sell CBD, or any consumable products, anywhere in Oklahoma. With that said, plenty stores sell it, and even if there trace amounts of THC, trouble over it is unlikely.


CBD derived from hemp is legal in Pennsylvania. You can buy it just about anywhere, provided it does not come from marijuana. You can even get CBD massages and more, but be careful what you buy.

West Virginia

Although CBD is legal in West Virginia, to fights its opioid crisis, the state does not accept it broadly. You can still fail drug-screening tests, or suffer other unintended consequences, although this is rare.


Hawaii has been producing and selling hemp since around 2000, despite its restrictive cannabis laws. You can buy and use CBD on the islands, but buy local, since it is cheaper than importing it. .


Illinois decriminalized small quantities of marijuana, with voters now pushing for a legal, regulated market. In this way, you can buy and use CBD freely, provided you do not have huge quantities of it.


You can find topical CBD products at just about any drug store in Maryland, with other CBD products entering drug stores across the state too, provided it derives from industrial hemp and not marijuana.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island decriminalized marijuana in small quantities some time ago, so it is very unlikely that you will get into any trouble if police catch you with CBD. Just make sure they do not find large amounts.


Anybody can buy CBD legally in Tennessee, even children, with both CVS and Walgreens now stocking it on their shelves. However, employers can still fire you if you test positive for trace amounts of THC.


Both hemp and CBD products are legal in Utah, provided those products undergo testing and are registered with the state. Consumers here know exactly what they are getting when buying CBD.


CBD is not a problem in Alaska, but exercise caution and discretion. The state has a brochure available on its marijuana laws, so keep your CBD consumption private and try not to puff your vape publically.


California has a legal marketplace for both hemp and marijuana. However, although you can get CBD anywhere, you have so many options. It may be wise to know what you want, and where you buy it.


CBD is available across Colorado, legally. You can buy it at Walgreens, drug stores, even health shops. The state is proud of its cannabis industry but, as always, be aware of the quality that you buy.


Maine treats CBD as food, instead of as medicine. CBD laws here are the same as they are federally, so be on the lookout for high quality CBD products in stores across the state, and avoid inferior ones.


CBD is legal and available across Massachusetts, without fear of legal troubles. Your biggest worry here is whether the products that you buy come from a trusted and reputable supplier.


Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, as is CBD. CBD products are available across the state already, but perhaps not in the remotest of areas. In these cases, you can buy it openly online.


Stores in Nevada near overflow with CBD products. It is widely and freely available to anyone looking for it. Marijuana itself is legal up to an ounce, so there is nothing to worry about when buying CBD.


Oregon has one of the largest CBD markets in the country. Quality is much more of a concern that the police. The state is already fighting lawsuits over hemp seed gender, so it is legal here.


Throughout the state of Vermont, you can find stores legally selling CBD. Drug stores, health shops, dispensaries. In fact, hemp is massive business here, growing freely across the countryside.


Washington, including Washington D.C., allows the purchase, sale, and use of CBD without issue. The experience of finding quality here is possibly smoother than anywhere in the country.

Buy CBD Online

No matter where you live, you can actually buy CBD online without too many problems, provided you are discreet about it. After all, it is now legal at the national level. If you reside in a CBD-friendly state, then you can still buy online too. In fact, online CBD shopping is growing in popularity, since it is easier to choose quality, and you can find more discounts and coupons than you would in any store.


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