January 06, 2021 6 min read

A map with Virginia circled in red ink

CBD laws are vastly different from state to state, and some state’s don’t exactly agree with the federal legal status of hemp-derived CBD products. Although you may be able to guess which states have fully legalized CBD, some states may surprise you.

Virginia, for instance, has a history of cannabis prohibition, but also a lengthy history of hemp research and cultivation.

So, is CBD legal in Virginia?

The short answer? Yes!

But there may not be many regulations in place to ensure consumer safety. Before you buy CBD in Virginia, you should get a good look at Virginia CBD laws and how they affect consumers:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Virginia?
Is full spectrum CBD legal in Virginia?
Does Virginia have a CBD possession limit?
Do you need a prescription for CBD in Virginia?
Where to buy CBD in Virginia?
Can you buy CBD at 18 in Virginia?
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

Virginia was one of the very first states to enact hemp research, and CBD is now legal across the state.

There is no need for a prescription and there are no age limits for buying CBD.

The state requires certain licenses and labelling standards, but does not require stringent safety or purity testing for CBD products.

This lack of regulations can put consumers at risk. Shopping online may give you better oversight of brand quality, and many online CBD brands ship legal CBD products to Virginia 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 varieties of CBD oil, a legal and accessible form of CBD in Virginia

 

What are the CBD laws in Virginia?

Virginia hasn't always been the most cannabis-friendly state, but they've had their hands in hemp agriculture for over two decades. In 1997, the state passed House Joint Resolution 656, a bill that delegated 6 members to a committee designed to study agricultural hemp and its economic benefits.

After three years of research, the state concluded that hemp agriculture would be greatly beneficial for the state. In 1999, Virginia passed HB 94, a bill that permitted hemp cultivation for research purposes under the authority of multiple federal agencies, such as the DEA. This program was deemed successful and was impactful on the federal government's decision to legalize hemp agriculture across the country.

After the 2014 Farm Bill became law, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed SB 955 in 2015. This bill redefined hemp to match the federal definition, as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, a separate entity from marijuana. The bill also designated one university to run a hemp research program and distribute hemp-derived products to qualifying patients in the state.

Finally, the bill laid the groundwork for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to begin drafting regulations for the state’s future hemp program. In 2018, the state passed HB 532 prior to the 2018 Farm Bill being passed into law. Initially, this bill loosened regulations on the industrial hemp agriculture program to expand access to hemp licensing across the state, but it didn’t fully align with the federal regulations in the new Farm Bill.

The state quickly passed SB 247 to update regulations and licensing requirements as needed, and finally submitted their hemp agriculture plan to the USDA for approval in January 2020. USDA approval has been delayed, but the state can continue to issue licenses through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services until the USDA plan is approved.

As it now stands, CBD products derived from hemp are legal and accessible in the state, and there are no restrictions on the types of CBD products that can be made and sold in Virginia. This is in-line with regulations in other pro-hemp states, like Colorado and Oregon.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Virginia?

It’s easy to assume that CBD isolate, which contains no THC, is legal in most places. Laws surrounding full spectrum products that contain some amount of THC are not always so clear. Virginia law allows for CBD products to contain up to 0.3% THC, which means full spectrum CBD products are legal in the state.

Does Virginia have a CBD possession limit?

There are no virginia laws that define any possession limits for CBD products derived from hemp. Products that contain more than 0.3% THC are considered cannabis products by the state, and are only available for medical patients in the state. Medical cannabis products are subject to different possession limits.

Do you need a prescription for CBD in Virginia?

There is no need for a prescription to access CBD products in Virginia. 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 Virginia?

A handful of CBD softgels, which are virtually unrestricted in Virginia.

You may find many different types of CBD products in stores across Virginia, including CBD edibles and beverages. Thanks to relaxed regulations, CBD products are not hard to find in the state, but quality regulations may be lacking.

Poor quality regulations may put consumers at risk, and 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.

Can you buy CBD at 18 in Virginia?

In theory, CBD should be accessible to people of all ages, especially since it originally gained 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.

CBD age limits are mostly undefined, even by federal law. Virginia does not impose any age restrictions for buying CBD products, but there may still be limitations.

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 Virginia.

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 Virginia, 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. “HJ 656 Study” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=971&typ=bil&val=hj656
  3. “HJ 94” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=991&typ=bil&val=hj94
  4. “SB 955” https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+sum+SB955&151+sum+SB955
  5. “HB 532” https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+sum+HB532&181+sum+HB532
  6. “Industrial Hemp” https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant-industry-services-hemp.shtml#:~:text=If%20you%20plan%20to%20grow,a%20USDA%2Dissued%20Hemp%20License.&text=VDACS%20will%20distribute%20additional%20information,season%20in%20early%2Dspring%202021.




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