December 08, 2020 7 min read

A map with a push pin marking Maryland

Although the federal government has defined its stance on industrial hemp products, CBD laws are generally defined by the states. Even in states like Maryland where medical cannabis is legal and well-regulated, it’s difficult to understand the laws surrounding CBD for consumers who don’t have a medical marijuana card.

So, is CBD legal in Maryland? And if so, where can you find it?

Luckily, Maryland was one of the few states that were ahead of the game. The state passed legislation to legalize industrial hemp even before the 2018 Farm Bill was passed into law.

Still, certain forms of CBD may be illegal in the state, and it’s important to know all the details about Maryland CBD laws before you buy:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Maryland?
Is full spectrum CBD legal in Maryland?
Does Maryland have a CBD possession limit?
Can doctors prescribe CBD in Maryland?
Where to buy CBD in Maryland?
What’s the legal age to buy CBD in Maryland?
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

  • Maryland legalized industrial hemp for production and sale several years before hemp was legalized on a federal level. CBD is legal in the state, but certain products are still considered to be unlawful.
  • The state doesn’t set any age restrictions for CBD, but vendors may require consumers to be 21 or older. You may be able to buy CBD online in Maryland if you are 18 or older.
  • Maryland doesn’t require a prescription for CBD products derived from hemp, but cannabis-derived CBD products require a state-issued medical cannabis card.
  • Maryland imposes very few regulations to ensure the quality of hemp derived CBD products. 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 oil products, which may be difficult to find in stores in Maryland

 

What are the CBD laws in Maryland?

In response to the 2014 Farm Bill, Maryland passed HB 803 in 2015, a bill that reclassified hemp as a separate substance from "marijuana." The new definition aligned the state with the federal definition used today. Hemp is considered to be any cannabis product containing 0.3% THC or less.

The bill broadly legalized the cultivation and processing of hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBD, so long as the manufacturers obtained the proper license from the state. It only vaguely touched on the sale or quality requirements for hemp-derived products, leaving the CBD market accessible but poorly regulated.

In 2016, the state passed HB 443 to broaden access to industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and research crop, making it legal for educational institutions to obtain a hemp license for research purposes.

This bill was further expanded with HB 698 in 2018, where the state finally laid provisions for the marketing and sale of hemp-derived products within the state and across state lines.

Although these laws still make it difficult to navigate the state’s stance on the type of CBD products that are legal for sale and use, the Maryland Department of Health specifically states that it is “unlawful under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived.”

Similar laws have been adopted in other states, like Georgia, California, Hawaii, and Louisiana, but they generally haven’t dampened access to CBD products.

In other words, CBD is legal in Maryland, but it is currently illegal for manufacturers to make or sell CBD food products and dietary supplements. The laws do not define penalties for consumers who buy CBD products made in other states.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Maryland?

It’s easy to assume that CBD isolate is legal in many places since it contains no THC, but 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.

Luckily, Maryland aligns with federal regulations regarding CBD. Full spectrum CBD is legal in Maryland as long as it meets the state’s general requirements for CBD, like containing less than 0.3% THC.

Does Maryland 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 accessible for medical patients in Maryland.

Can doctors prescribe CBD in Maryland?

In Maryland, 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 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 Maryland?

Multiple forms of CBD, which may need to be purchased online in Maryland due to state laws.

In Maryland, there are multiple regulations that affect the manufacture and sale of CBD products, and only licensed vendors are allowed to legally sell CBD. Still, CBD products are now widely available across the state and you may be able to find them in grocery markets and convenience stores.

However, the state fails to impose many regulations regarding the quality of hemp-derived CBD products. This lack of regulation can put consumers at risk.

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.

What’s the legal age to buy CBD in Maryland?

Both federal regulations and state regulations fail to outline any 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.

In Maryland, there are no laws to outline a legal age for buying CBD. Instead, these laws 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 Kentucky.

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 Maryland, 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. “House Bill 803” http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2015RS/bills/hb/hb0803f.pdf
  3. “House Bill 443” http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2016RS/bills/hb/hb0443f.pdf
  4. “House Bill 698” http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/bills/hb/hb0698T.pdf
  5. “Cannabidiol (CBD) in Food” https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OEHFP/OFPCHS/Pages/CBD_in_Foods.aspx#:~:text=%E2%80%8B%E2%80%8BIt%20is%20unlawful,the%20substances%20are%20hemp-derived

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