The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which was signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 20, 2018, legalized industrial hemp cultivation on the federal level and created a pathway to remove some cannabis from Schedule I status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is classified as cannabis that contains less than .3% THC by weight, while marijuana is cannabis that contains more than .3% THC and is therefore still categorized as Schedule I.
The Farm Bill also granted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the power to regulate CBD’s labeling, therapeutic claims, and its use as a food additive. Despite the passage of the Farm Bill, the FDA has taken the stance that hemp-derived CBD may not be added to food and beverages, nor marketed as dietary supplements. While the FDA has begun a process of reevaluating its stance on such CBD products, it has yet to revise its rules or specifically regulate CBD products, leading to confusion in the market. The FDA has been strict when it comes to health claims and content that could be construed as medical advice about CBD.
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
Medical marijuana patients with a physician’s recommendation may purchase and possess up to four ounces of cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries.
Florida CBD laws
To grow and process hemp and hemp extracts, such as CBD oil, a person or business must apply for a state license. All hemp products must also be tested by a licensed independent laboratory, certifying that the product contains no more than 0.3% THC and does not have any contaminants.
The manufacturing, selling and distribution of consumables with or without hemp extract are covered under a single permit with the Division of Food Safety. A food establishment that is currently permitted with the division and elects to begin manufacturing, selling or distributing hemp extract intended for human consumption will not need an additional permit from the Division of Food Safety. However, the establishment should contact the division and provide notification of this change in status. Holding a food permit with the Division of Food Safety does not preclude the necessity for additional permits or registrations with FDACS’s other divisions and/or other state agencies for non-food-related activities.
The counterpart for dairy products exists in Rule 5K-10.006, F.A.C., and provides additional guidance for the manufacturing of dairy products containing hemp extract intended for human consumption along with the production requirements for the base dairy and/or frozen dessert products to which hemp extract will be added.
The sanitation requirements for a hemp food establishment and a food establishment are identical and based on the nature of the processes used by the establishment.
Hemp extract, which includes cannabidiol (CBD), intended for human consumption has been incorporated into existing Division of Food Safety requirements. Rule 5K-4.034, F.A.C., allowing for the sale of hemp extract intended for human consumption pursuant to Section 581.217, F.S., went into effect January 1, 2020.
Pursuant to Section 581.217, Florida Statutes (F.S.), and Rule 5K-4.034, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Food Safety is authorized to issue food permits for the manufacturing, processing, packing, holding, preparing or selling of hemp extract intended for human consumption at wholesale or retail.
Other Permitting Requirements
Any establishment that manufactures, processes, packs, holds, prepares or sells hemp extract intended for human consumption is considered a hemp food establishment and is required to have a food establishment permit from the Division of Food Safety to operate in Florida.
Retail hemp food establishments are food establishments that prepare and/or sell prepackaged hemp extract intended for human consumption, which includes CBD or other cannabinoids, to the end consumer.