December 28, 2020 6 min read

A map with a push pin marking Rhode Island

As the 2018 Farm Bill passed into law, many states developed their own version of a hemp pilot program. The state laws don’t always align with federal regulations, however, and it can be hard to read between the lines to determine what’s legal and what's not.

Is CBD legal in Rhode Island? Or do the state regulations render it inaccessible?

Luckily, Rhode Island permits the manufacture and sale of CBD in the state.

The state offers relaxed regulations that make it easy to find all types of CBD products, including CBD edibles. Of course, this lack of regulation may put consumers at risk.

To learn how to find safe, high-quality CBD near you, you need to understand Rhode Island CBD laws:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Rhode Island?
Is full spectrum CBD legal in Rhode Island?
Does Rhode Island have a CBD possession limit?
Do you need a prescription for CBD in Rhode Island?
Where to buy CBD in North Dakota?
Legal age to buy CBD in Rhode Island?
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

Rhode Island acted quickly to design a Hemp Pilot Program in the state. Now, CBD is easy to find in many different forms.

The state does not restrict the types of products that can be made, but they do offer a healthy level of licensing, testing, and labeling requirements.

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

In order to ensure that the products you choose are safe and potent, you may consider shopping online, where you can carefully vet the brand before you buy. Many online CBD brands ship legal CBD products to Rhode Island 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 CBD oil products, which may be legally purchased online from Rhode Island.

What are the CBD laws in Rhode Island?

In 2017, Rhode Island passed the Hemp Growth Act, a bill that legalized hemp production under the terms laid out by the 2014 Farm Bill. Under this limited bill, hemp was established as a separate entity from marijuana. The defining factor matches the federal definition for hempit contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.

Of course, like the original hemp pilot programs laid out in other states (see Kentucky, Colorado, and Arkansas), the program only allowed hemp to be grown for research purposes by a limited number of state-approved institutions.

In 2019, in response to the 2018 Farm Bill, Rhode Island passed HB5151. This bill expanded the hemp program to make hemp agriculture and manufacturing legal across the state. The bill specifically legalized the sale of CBD, including consumable goods with CBD.

Unlike some more restricted states (see California, Hawaii, and New Hampshire), virtually every type of CBD product is legal in the state. This includes consumables, like CBD edibles and beverages, as well as oils, concentrates, and more.

While the state-approved CBD as a food additive, there are several regulations in place. CBD manufacturers must be licensed and operate in accordance with the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation’s requirements for food products.

In addition, the state requires consumers to be 21 or older to buy consumable CBD products in any form.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Rhode Island?

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

Does Rhode Island have a CBD possession limit?

There are no defined CBD possession limits in Rhode Island. 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 Rhode Island?

There is no need for a prescription to access CBD products in Rhode Island. 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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island?

A handful of CBD softgels, which may be found online and in stores in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has no restrictions on the type of CBD products that can be made in the state, but they do impose certain licensing, testing, and labeling requirements for CBD products. That means that while CBD is available throughout the state, it may only be available through licensed vendors. In some cases, these vendors may be grocery stores or health stores.

Although Rhode Island does impose some quality and labeling regulations, most of the focus is on the THC content of products. That means that some poor-quality formulas may slip through the cracks, and it is important to carefully consider products before you buy.

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 Rhode Island?

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 Rhode Island, consumers must be 21 in order to purchase consumable CBD products, but there are no age limits in place for other 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, especially smoke shops, 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 Rhode Island.

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

Resources

  1. “Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “H 8232” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H8232A.pdf
  3. “H 5151” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText19/HouseText19/H5151Aaa.pdf

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