December 04, 2020 6 min read

A U.S. map showing Connecticut and surrounding states

As the CBD industry has expanded, many people have found a product that fits into their daily routine. Unfortunately, navigating CBD’s legality isn’t such a simple task. In the U.S., every state can make its own CBD laws, and they don’t always line up with federal regulations.

If you’ve found yourself asking “Is CBD legal in Connecticut?” then you’re in luck. Connecticut has some of the most straightforward and relaxed laws concerning industrial hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBD.

Before you take that as a resounding “yes,” understand that the state does have a few stipulations on what counts as a marketable CBD product.

Here’s a look at Connecticut’s CBD laws:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Connecticut?
Is full spectrum CBD legal in Connecticut?
Does Connecticut have a CBD possession limit?
Do you need a prescription for CBD oil in Connecticut?
Where to buy CBD in Connecticut?
How old do you need to be to buy CBD in Connecticut?
Is CBD legal in all 50 states?
Resources

Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest CBD laws and research. However, state laws are subject to change and we advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This is not intended as legal advice.

Key Takeaways

  • Connecticut removed industrial hemp and cannabidiol from their controlled substances list in 2015. A few years later, the state rolled out a plan for industrial hemp cultivation and marketing.
  • The state has a few stipulations, like that all ingestible CBD products be marketed as “food” and without health claims. Otherwise, hemp products just need to be legally sourced and contain less than 0.3% THC.
  • The state also has no minimum age requirements, but it may not be easy to access CBD in stores for consumers who are under 21.
  • Doctors in Connecticut may recommend CBD, but you don’t need a prescription to access it.
  • CBD is easily accessible across the state, but the state’s poor regulation leads to concerns about quality. Certain practices, like buying CBD online and properly vetting your CBD brand, may reduce the risks of buying low-quality formulas.

Legal Concerns About CBD

It’s true that CBD gained its federal legal status in 2018. The Hemp Farming Act effectively removed industrial hemp and its natural derivatives (like cannabinoids) from the Controlled Substances Act.

But there’s a catch, and it complicates things:

Legal CBD products must come from industrial hemp.

This classification is designated to hemp material that meets a strict set of standards. The most significant is that it contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. If CBD products are made from any cannabis strain that contains more than 0.3% THC, it is not a federally legal product.

That’s not all—

The final product must contain less than 0.3% THC, too.

That means that even if a brand starts with legal hemp material, they need to carry out careful manufacturing procedures to produce a legal end product. It’s possible for certain cannabinoids to be “concentrated” during the extraction process, leading to higher THC concentrations than in the original material. Proper manufacturing and careful testing need to be employed to avoid this issue.

Because there is very little regulation in the CBD industry, it’s important to evaluate a brand carefully before you buy. It can be hard to tell if a CBD product is made from a legal hemp source and meets the federal guidelines for legal hemp products. The best way to ensure that your CBD products are legal is by checking the third-party lab tests for cannabinoid potency.

Of course, these regulations only apply on a federal scale. You must also ensure that your products meet the standards laid out by federal guidelines and those set by your state.

A selection of CBD product types that may be available in Connecticut

What are the CBD laws in Connecticut?

Connecticut passed HB 5780 in 2015, a bill that effectively removed industrial hemp from the state’s controlled substance list. Unlike many states that offer an ambiguous amendment, Connecticut specifically mentions cannabidiol (CBD) as an exception to the state’s ruling against cannabis products.

In May 2019, SB 893 was passed, which laid out plans for hemp agriculture and sale within the state. This bill offers a definition for industrial hemp that lines up with federal regulations—any hemp plant or part of the plant that contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.

The bill also clarifies that any hemp-derived CBD product intended for ingestion is classified as food. These products are legal for manufacture and sale within the state, but manufacturers must not make any health claims regarding these CBD products.

The state’s regulations on CBD are seemingly loose, especially compared to states like California, where it’s prohibited to use CBD in any food or dietary products. According to a document released by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, the state only has the following requirements for industrial hemp products:

  • Hemp must be grown legally according to the local jurisdiction of the hemp source.
  • Hemp material and any resulting product must contain less than 0.3% THC.

Thanks to these laws, the state makes a careful distinction between hemp-derived CBD and CBD products derived from cannabis, which are only available under the state’s medical-marijuana program.

The CBD quality regulations in Connecticut are also scarce (compared to states like Utah and Colorado, which require stringent tracking and testing), which may put consumers at risk.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Connecticut?

Many consumers are worried that the trace amounts of THC found in full spectrum CBD products may cause trouble in states where cannabis is illegal. Connecticut has very relaxed CBD laws compared to other states, like Idaho, where any amount of THC is illegal. There are no restrictions on full-spectrum CBD products that contain 0.3% THC or less and are derived from a legal hemp source.

Does Connecticut have a CBD possession limit?

To date, there are no possession limits for CBD products that meet legal guidelines. CBD products that contain over 0.3% THC may be classified as cannabis products, which are only available as part of the state’s medical cannabis program.

Do you need a prescription for CBD oil in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, you do not need a prescription to access CBD products. In fact, doctors typically cannot “prescribe” CBD products that are sold over the counter, rather they may “recommend” them. Even in states like Connecticut, where medical marijuana is legal, access usually requires a doctor’s recommendation, not a prescription.

CBD is still new, and only one CBD product has been approved by the FDA to date. This product, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, is designed to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Aside from this product (which comes with stringent usage guidelines), many doctors are still learning about CBD. If you’re interested in the benefits of CBD, you may need to spark a conversation with your doctor.

Where to buy CBD in Connecticut?

A dropper filled with CBD oil, one of the most popular CBD types available in Connecticut.

In Connecticut, the regulations regarding the sale of CBD products are minimal. That means that CBD may be accessible in many places, including corner stores and grocery markets.

However, this lack of regulation can be risky.

Buying CBD online is a suitable option for most consumers. When you buy CBD online directly from the brand, you get better oversight of the brand’s manufacturing practices. Looking at the brand’s hemp source and lab testing procedures can help ensure that the CBD products you choose are clean, potent, and meet legal guidelines.

Buying CBD directly from a brand instead of from a third-party market may also be less costly since you won’t have to pay the extra fees that are often tacked on by the middle man. Of course, premium CBD can be expensive to manufacture, so you should also be wary of products that offer low-ball prices.

Finally, buying CBD online may be the best way to access many different types of CBD. The most common type of CBD product is an oil tincture, but you can find a variety of CBD edibles, topicals, and other specialty products when you shop online.

For more information on how to find high-quality CBD products, check out our CBD Buyer’s Guide.

How old do you need to be to buy CBD oil in Connecticut?

Like states like Alabama and Arkansas, Connecticut has not defined a legal age for buying CBD products. In theory, CBD should be accessible to people of all ages, especially since it gained its popularity as a treatment for various childhood illnesses. Of course, some products may not be suitable for people of all ages, like smokable hemp flower or CBD vaporizers.

Although there are no statewide laws, the rules for buying CBD may vary by jurisdiction and are more heavily impacted by the seller. Since the legal age for tobacco products has been raised to 21, many smoke shops may require users to be 21.

Many CBD brands allow customers who are 18 or older to order online and will ship legal CBD products to Connecticut.

Is CBD legal in all 50 states?

Thanks to federal updates, CBD has the potential to be legal in every U.S. state. CBD is legal in Connecticut, but every state has different regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of CBD. Click here to find out where CBD is legal.

Resources

  1. “H.R.5485 - Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “Substitute House Bill No. 5780, Public Act No. 15-202” https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/ACT/PA/2015PA-00202-R00HB-05780-PA.htm
  3. "AN ACT CONCERNING A PILOT PROGRAM FOR HEMP PRODUCTION." https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/lcoamd/pdf/2019LCO07520-R00-AMD.pdf
  4. “Hemp Manufacturing in Connecticut: Frequently Asked Questions” https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DCP/Hemp/CBD-HempFAQs_DCP.pdf

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