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Is CBD Legal in Florida? – March 2022

The legality of hemp-based CBD products only applies on a federal level in Florida . Historically, all cannabis varieties, including hemp and marijuana, were categorized as Schedule I drugs by the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act (5) .

The law defined Schedule I narcotics as drugs, substances, or chemicals that have no accepted medical use in treatment in the US, have a high potential for abuse, and lack any accepted safety for their usage under medical supervision.

Congress legalized hemp cultivation through the 2018 Hemp Farming Act (6) , which differentiated hemp from marijuana. This law defines hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC concentration by weight, while marijuana has more.

CBD derived from hemp plants no longer belonged under the Schedule I category through the new definitions. Still, marijuana-derived CBD remained federally illegal due to a high concentration of THC.

Further, the 2018 Farm Bill passage allowed the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) to regulate CBD’s circulation in the market.

Although the FDA continues to reevaluate their stance on CBD products , companies cannot market CBD products as dietary supplements or make unsubstantiated therapeutic claims (7) .

The FDA has previously warned companies engaged in deceptive marketing of unproven treatments promoting CBD for medical conditions (8) .

CBD industry members now include disclaimers on their websites to clarify that CBD is not medicine.

Florida CBD Laws

The 2018 Farm Bill ’s passage affirms the legality of CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight and are distributed through licensed vendors only.

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Still, consumers must exercise caution when purchasing CBD products since the state of Florida still needs to draft the specific labeling and testing of cannabis products.

These laws are related to the legalization of CBD in the state of Florida :

Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 (SB 1030)

Florida lawmakers signed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act or Senate Bill 1030 in 2014 (9) . This law allowed qualified medical marijuana patients to obtain low-THC CBD oil legally.

This law was Florida ’s pioneering medical marijuana program that legalized the purchase, possession, and consumption of medical cannabis that has at least 10% CBD and no more than 0.8% THC.

The state law permitted patients with terminal illnesses or those with epilepsy , muscle spasms, and cancer to seek a doctor’s recommendation for purchasing medical marijuana .

Florida Medical Marijana Legalization Initiative (Amendment 2)

Voters approved Amendment 2 in 2016 as an initiative that expanded Florida ’s medical marijuana program . However, smokable forms of marijuana remained prohibited (10) .

  1. Cancer
  2. Epilepsy
  3. Glaucoma
  4. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  5. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  6. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  7. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  8. Crohn’s disease
  9. Parkinson’s disease
  10. Multiple sclerosis.
Medical Use of Marijuana (SB 182)

Eventually, Republican Gov . Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 182, which lawmakers passed in March 2019. This motion came after the Supreme Court ruled out the ban on smokable forms of marijuana (11) .

Presently, medical marijuana patients in Florida can register for legal access to hemp oil products with high CBD and THC contents.

State Hemp Program (SB 1020)

In July 2019, Florida state lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1020 or a State Hemp Program that explicitly highlighted the 2018 Farm Bill ’s definition of hemp as a plant with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight (12) .

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The law states that cannabinoids from hemp are not controlled substances . As such, hemp extracts are also legal.

Furthermore, a committee amendment filed on May 22, 2019, for this law states that hemp products may be transported across state lines consistent with the federal laws surrounding CBD (13) .

Licensing Requirements

Hemp cultivation licensing in Florida is free of charge.

As emphasized by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), it does not contact applicants about the status of their hemp cultivation license.

Routine background checks are part of the permitting process. Applicants must have an ORI number (Originating Agency Identifier) assigned by the FDACS to complete a background check.

Applicants for growing hemp must present a hemp containment and transportation plan before applying for hemp cultivation licenses .

Upon licensure, applicants must contact the FDACS Office of Agricultural Water Policy and schedule an appointment for enrollment in agricultural best management practices (BMPs).

Hemp producers obtain a presumption of compliance with water quality standards upon enrollment in the FDACS BMP program. Under Florida Law , this is a requirement in areas covered by Basin Management Action Plans.

More information is available at the official FDACS website:

Testing Requirements

The FDACS Division of Plant Industry provides a list of approved laboratories designated for THC testing.

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