New York is home to the largest chain of CBD stores in the U.S. As the conversation around CBD has become increasingly mainstream over the last few years, more and more New Yorkers have become fascinated by its potential benefits. We’ve heard the same questions come up time and time again: What exactly does CBD do? How much should I take? Is it really legal? So, where can you buy CBD oil in New York anyway?
The CBD craze exploded at the end of last year when Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill made some cannabis plants legal and loosened the restrictions on the use of hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC – the psychoactive compound responsible for making users high.
Hemp products have been a part of New York’s culture for a long time. Back in the 1940s, the federal government produced and promoted industrial hemp through the movie “Hemp for Victory.” During a time of war, when many human and natural resources were strained, the efficient growth cycle of hemp and its wide array of industrial uses for its resin and fibers relieved the high demand for these commodities.
Following the war, the cost of producing hemp in the U.S became prohibitory because of reimplementation of taxes and strict regulations. However, in 2014, Barack Obama signed a pro-hemp Farm Bill that allowed for the cultivation of hemp across the U.S. In recent years, New York State, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has been signing hemp legislation. In 2017, he signed Senate Bill 6787 which acknowledges the potential of industrial hemp, and demonstrates New York’s efforts in “support of industrial hemp.”
Specific Cannabis Laws in New York
Last month, New York lawmakers failed to pass a marijuana legalization bill. Instead, they advanced a marijuana decriminalization bill to governor’s desk. Once signed, this law will reduce the charge for possession, reverse many past possession convictions, and add the smoking of marijuana to the restrictions on smoking in public.
The new bill stipulates that anything up to one ounce of marijuana may only be punished with a fine of up to $50, regardless of a person’s record. One to two ounces may only be punished with a fine of up to $200 – eliminating potential jail time.
Marijuana decriminalization is different from legalization. Under decriminalization, possession of a small amount of weed no longer carries jail time but can continue to carry a fine. Possession of larger amounts, sales or trafficking, and repeat offenses can still result in harsh sentences. Under legalization, marijuana possession penalties are completely removed, and sales are typically allowed.
CBD Hemp Oil – New York
CBD hemp oil is widely available throughout New York. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, it’s legal to buy and sell CBD oil that contains a THC concentration of less than 0.3%.
On December 20, 2018, hemp was finally removed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance list. This listed hemp as an agricultural commodity under federal law, and while growing it is still strictly regulated, and subject to licensing approval, it’s legal to grow and cultivate.
Marijuana-derived CBD products are only available for those who qualify for a medical marijuana card. In other words, only those with qualifying medical conditions (that have been approved) may legally purchase CBD oil that has been made from marijuana.
However, buying hemp-derived CBD oil is completely legal for everyone. This is because hemp typically contains low levels of THC concentration – less than the stipulated 0.3%.
What About Food and Drink with CBD?
As of 2019, New York is officially putting its foot down on CBD-infused products. Yes, that’s right – as of July 1, 2019, the Health Department is embargoing food and drink products that contain CBD. These types of products will have to be returned to the supplier or discarded.
Beginning in October this year, establishments that offer CBD-infused food and drinks will receive violations. The violations could result in fines and or hurt the establishments’ letter grades.
Once the FDA has established a framework to regulate CBD products, the position of New York could change. The general belief is that the FDA will permit CBD to be used as a food additive or dietary supplement, but it will be regulated. One possibility is that they will say that you are only allowed to use a certain number of milligrams of CBD in a specific product.
These CBD-infused food and drink regulations that the state of New York is initiating will make it one of the first states in the U.S to begin implementing rules around the use of CBD. Since the popularity of CBD is still fairly new, legislation and regulatory agencies are yet to catch up on their stance and final ruling on the compound.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in New York
Customers don’t need a prescription to buy CBD products in New York. Online retailers are currently the best place to purchase CBD, but retail stores across the state also carry over-the-counter CBD products, such as CBD terpene oils.
Under New York’s Medical Marijuana program, the state may license up to five organizations to cultivate and sell medical marijuana.
Each organization that receives a license may operate no more than four dispensaries in the state. Keep in mind that dispensaries may only sell marijuana-derived CBD products to patients who hold a valid medical marijuana card.
There are quite a few local shops in New York that sell CBD oil. Regardless of the state’s rules against the production of certain types of CBD products, many shops sell these products anyway. This is especially true in larger cities, like New York City, Rochester, and Yonkers. Since the production of products like CBD edibles and vape oils is prohibited in the state, these products are likely to be imported from other states where their production is currently legal.
The other option for purchasing CBD is to purchase these products online and then have them delivered to your doorstep.
Purchasing CBD Oil Online
Some of the best online CBD companies are: Purekana, Premium Jane, Green Roads, and Charlotte’s Web. It’s important to do your own research regarding online CBD stores. We recommend only buying from CBD manufacturers who use a third-party lab for testing, have a pharmacist in place to formulate their finished products and source their hemp from the U.S.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in New York
Cannabis laws in the U.S are changing on a daily basis. CBD oil is legal in New York, but there are rules and regulations in place. When it comes to CBD oil, it must be made or extracted from the hemp plant only. Any product that originates from the THC-rich plant, marijuana, is illegal if aren’t in possession of a medical marijuana card.
There are a few dispensaries in New York where you will find CBD oil to purchase. But you’re probably better off buying products online. There’s a lot less restriction and a lot more selection available in online CBD stores. Just ensure that you do your research and know what you’re looking for.