Is CBD Legal in Pennsylvania?

by Kat Austin December 28, 2020 6 min read

Is CBD Legal in Pennsylvania? - Vida Optima™

A map showing Pennsylvania and surrounding states

Not all states are exceptionally cannabis-friendly, but more states have joined in on the cannabis industry as industrial hemp has gained its federally legal status. Of course, the state laws don’t always line up with federal regulations, leaving residents with questions

Is CBD legal in Pennsylvania? And if so, where can I find it?

Luckily, Pennsylvania was pretty receptive to the new hemp legislature, even during it’s “pilot” phase in 2014. CBD is legal in the state but may be mostly unregulated, leaving consumers at risk.

No worries, though!

Understanding Pennsylvania CBD laws can help you safely navigate the CBD market in your home state:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Pennsylvania?
Is full spectrum CBD legal in Pennsylvania?
Does Pennsylvania have a CBD possession limit?
Do you need a prescription for CBD in Pennsylvania?
Where to buy CBD in Pennsylvania?
Legal age to buy CBD in Pennsylvania?
Is CBD legal in all 50 states?

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

Pennsylvania quickly took to legalizing hemp production in the state after the 2014 Farm Bill passed into law. Now, CBD products are relatively accessible in the state.

There are no age limits for buying CBD and you do not need a prescription.

The state imposes some restrictions on hemp growers but does not heavily regulate hemp manufacturers or vendors. This may put consumers at risk of buying lower-quality formulas.

In order to ensure that the products you choose are safe and potent, you may consider shopping online. Many online CBD brands ship legal CBD products to Pennsylvania to buyers aged 18 and up.

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.

Two variations of CBD oil, one of the most popular forms of CBD in Pennsylvania.

What are the CBD laws in Pennsylvania?

In response to the 2014 Farm Bill, Pennsylvania passed HB 967 in 2016, a bill that set the tone for legal hemp production and processing in the state. Initially, hemp growing and processing were approved only under state-approved programs at various universities.

Later, the bill was amended to remove this requirement, expanding access to hemp agriculture across the state. The bill closely aligned with federal regulations, defining hemp as a separate entity from marijuana--as cannabis material with less than 0.3% THC.

Under this law, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture was given authority over the state’s hemp program. Through this program, growers are required to submit to several rounds of inspection and testing, and any hemp material with more than 0.3% THC may be destroyed.

The state has relatively relaxed laws surrounding hemp manufacturing. Hemp manufacturers do not need to be licensed unless they intend to manufacture CBD food items, which is subject to licensing and restriction under the state’s Bureau of Food Safety.

The state also strictly aligns with the FDA ruling on CBD as a food additive, which is not currently permitted. Other states, like Montana, Georgia, California, and Hawaii, have adopted this same stance on CBD edibles. It’s unclear if there are legal penalties for manufacturing CBD foods in Pennsylvania, but these laws don’t seem to affect consumers.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Pennsylvania?

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. Pennsylvania has no laws restricting CBD with less than 0.3% THC, so full-spectrum CBD is legal.

Does Pennsylvania have a CBD possession limit?

There are no defined CBD possession limits in Pennsylvania. Products that contain more than 0.3% THC are considered cannabis products, which are legal for medicinal use only in the state, and are subject to different regulations and possession limits.

Do you need a prescription for CBD in Pennsylvania?

No. You do not need a prescription to access hemp CBD products in Pennsylvania. 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, like Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania?

A variety of CBD oils and topicals that can be purchased online from Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has a pretty open hemp market, making it easy for manufacturers to offer access to CBD across the state. You may find CBD products in local grocery markets, convenience stores, and health stores.

However, Pennsylvania has no restrictions or licensing requirements for manufacturers or vendors in the state, which may 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.

Legal age to buy CBD in Pennsylvania?

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.

Still, the legal age to buy CBD is unclear, often on both the state and federal level. In Pennsylvania, there are no laws to define the minimum age for buying most CBD products. Generally, the minimum age for purchase is decided by the vendor. The legal age for buying tobacco has been increased to 21, and it's possible that most CBD vendors will require buyers to meet this minimum age requirement as well.

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

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 Pennsylvania, but every state has different regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of CBD. Click here to find out where CBD is legal.


  1. “Hemp Farming Act of 2018”
  2. “Act 92”
  3. “Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp”

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