The road to legalization of CBD oil in the state of Connecticut is a relatively confusing one. Consumers looking to gain access to high and low-THC CBD products in the state are often confused about the exact nature of existing regulations. Additionally, as the state continues to shift their stance on various stipulations and parts of the explosive CBD market in 2019, it can be difficult for users of CBD products to accurately gauge how their favorite items fall into the legal framework as it currently exists.
This guide has been created for users to have a starting point in their research concerning both CBD and marijuana laws in the state of Connecticut. However, it should not be construed as genuine legal advice. Though every attempt will be made to ensure that the information on this site is updated and accurate, laws and regulations can change. Users are responsible for ensuring that they remain fully compliant with all relevant state, local, and federal regulations concerning the use, possession, and purchase of CBD products of varying THC levels.
States that have legalized hemp or marijuana have likely promulgated their own rules and regulations concerning the substance. Every state’s regulations are different and they may detail the process for cultivation, research, and possession of the substance. This particular general overview will cover Connecticut, which has it's own Connecticut Hemp Research Pilot Program.
Is CBD Legal in Connecticut?
As the title might suggest, CBD law in Connecticut varies greatly, based primarily on the CBD and THC content of the products in question. CBD with a low THC content (sub-0.3%) is legal in all fifty states, thanks to the federal Farm Bill of 2014, which legalized the industrial hemp industry all over the country. In Connecticut, the primary state-mandated legalization occurred with the passage of HB 5780. This law legalized the industrial hemp industry, doing so by removing the core parts of the marijuana plant used for hemp production—hemp stalks, fibers, and seeds—from the state’s scheduled definition of marijuana.
Doing so made it legal for consumers to possess the plant, as well as for companies to market it. But the state went a step further in establishing their industrial hemp industry when its legislators passed SB 603 in 2018, which created a pilot program to regulate the creation and consumption of the product. Now, it is legal for consumers in the state of Connecticut to manufacture and purchase, as well as possess and consume, low-THC industrial hemp products.
CBD Rules in Connecticut
The most important rule in Connecticut for CBD users concerns the THC content of the CBD products being purchased. THC is the chief compound found in the cannabis plant which provides the psychoactive “high” that many users have come to associate with the drug. Without a high THC content, CBD does not create a noticeable high, and will not show up on most modern drug tests. In addition to making the drug perfect for users looking to relax without a debilitating “couch effect” high, this is one of the reasons that this kind of CBD is legal in Connecticut.
CBD with low THC can be purchased from convenience stores and smoke shops all over the state. CBD with a high THC content, on the other hand, can generate a high and may only be purchased legally from medical dispensaries, and only by consumers with a medical certification from their physician detailing the necessity of medical cannabis for their treatment plan.
Connecticut Hemp Research Pilot Program
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture website provides information on the Connecticut Hemp Research Pilot Program. According to the website, Governor Lamont signed Public Act 19-3 authorizing the Pilot Program for Hemp and for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture to implement the research program. Under the Act, the Department is also permitted to submit a state plan to the United States Secretary of Agriculture, and once approved, the program expires and the Department of Agriculture will regulate hemp’s commercial production as an agricultural commodity.
The website identifies the components and requirements of the program. For example, those who are growers and processors of the substance must receive a license and to do so, they must apply and submit their supporting documents through the licensing portal on the Department’s website. Individual applicants undergo criminal history record checks, which is both on the federal and state level.
Growers and processors must also use Certified Seed, clones, or propagules obtained from Certified Seed. According to the website, a certified seed is hemp seed for which a certificate or any other instrument issued by the agency as authorized under the laws of a state, territory or possession of the United States. The certification assures the genetic purity of the seed.
Other components of the program include pre-harvesting, sampling, and testing requirements for growers, oversight of the growth of hemp on a plot where introduced into commerce by the use of pilot and lot identification. Further, hemp that is above the 0.3% limit must be destroyed voluntarily or by order. There are also research and marketing plans, and record-keeping for reporting requirements and planting.
Growing and Harvesting Hemp and Promoting Connecticut Hemp Industry
There is a great deal of useful information on the Connecticut Department of Agriculture website, which users may want to look into. When it comes to growing and harvesting hemp, the webpage directs individuals to several university websites that can provide information on growing and harvesting of hemp on purpose. For example, those who visit the University of Connecticut website can eventually reach information about the efforts being made by a molecular geneticist to improve the cultivation of industrial hemp.
There are also links to organizations that are involved in the promotion of hemp. A few of these organizations include the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association, the Connecticut Hemp Industry Association, Hemp Industry Association, the U.S. Hemp Authority, and U.S. Hemp Authority Roundtable. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s website indicates that by listing these organizations, it is not an endorsement. It appears that this is just for informational purposes.
Overall, those who are interested in learning more about Connecticut regulations and over-site authorities of hemp may want to visit the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s website. Further, it is important to stay abreast of the regulations, as they can change and evolve.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice or guidance. But simply general information. It is best to stay abreast of federal law and the law in one’s state and individuals are responsible for their own decisions concerning CBD and marijuana.