top of page

CBD: The Question of Legality

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

CBD: The Question of Legality

As an owner of a CBD related business, I am continually surprised by the amount of misinformation about CBD and its legality. In this article we will explore CBD and the question of legality. Here are the basic facts:

The United States 2014 Farm Bill included the basics of generating and protecting research into Hemp based products.

Then the 2018 Farm bill extended this effort and removed hemp derived products cultivated from Hemp containing less than .3% THC from the Schedule 1 prohibited drugs list. Hemp products (including CBD) still must be grown in accordance with the Farm Bill regulations, any applicable state regulations, and by a licensed farmer. Keep in mind that many states already had / have state programs in place for both hemp and marijuana products. Yes, marijuana is still federally illegal, but the Farm Bill clearly and purposefully removed phytocannabinoid rich hemp from the list of prohibited drugs. The 2018 Farm Bill did, however, leave regulation up to the FDA.

This is where is gets a little murky. The FDA has yet (as of this writing November 21, 2019) to issue said regulations. According to the FDA’s website –

“The FDA is Continuing to Evaluate the Regulatory Frameworks for Products Containing Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Compounds”

They provide a great deal of information about Cannabis-derived products and how they are committed to sound, science-based evaluations of the same. They express particular concern about products that are marketed with drug claims – i.e., claims for curing specific ailments or diseases. Blue Lotus Botanicals has been very careful to remove all references to specific conditions and encourages you to read the related research and millions of anecdotal claims for yourself. is an excellent source for such information, as are many of our vendor websites.

The FDA’s primary concern is that people should not replace traditional therapies or medical intervention with CBD – unless under the supervision of your physician. Fair enough. That would concern us too. We firmly believe, and have experienced ourselves, that CBD can be an effective addition to your wellness and that, in some circumstances, can lessen a person’s dependence on other, more “traditional” therapies. Remember that cannabis has been around and had been used for centuries to help people feel better. It was, in fact, the study of cannabis that led to the discover of the body’s own endocannabinoid system and its impact on homeostasis and wellness.

Also, according to the FDA, CBD currently cannot be in dietary supplements, however, without specifics on what else to call them – there are a lot of companies calling them that. The FDA can make an exception to this rule. According to the industry grapevine (arguable not the best source for information), they are looking to do so.

Some more factually based information related to the move toward a clearer operating environment are these facts:

  • In March of 2019, Commissioner Gottlieb of the FDA, announced that the FDA would be exercising enforcement against CBD companies.

  • In June of 2019, Senator Wylen wrote a letter to the FDA urging the development of regulations to ensure a pathway for the lawful use of CBD as a food additive / dietary supplement.

  • In June of 2019, Senator McConnel told the FDA commissioner that Congress’s intent was clear in passing the 2018 Farm Bill – legalize CBD in food / supplements

  • In July of 2019, the FDA announced plans to expedite the development of regulations specific to CBD, with the intent of issuing progress reports by the end of 2019.

  • In September of 2019, a Senate appropriations bill called on the FDA to establish interim rules on CBD within 120 days.

  • In October of 2019, Senator Schumer requested that the FDA send a report within 90 days outlining FDA plans for regulatory framework and comprehensive enforcement policies.

  • On October 31, 2019, the US Department of Agriculture issued “interim final rules” for the cultivation of hemp used in the production of CBD. This, more than anything else, has signaled that the industry is legitimate and open for business. There were some restrictions placed upon testing that many people in the industry are concerned will create bottlenecks in production, but the USDA has provided an industry / public comment period through December 31st and may modify those restrictions.

Since we are based in Florida, it is also important to note that in June of 2019, Florida passed Senate Bill 1020, which specifically makes it legal to distribute and sell CBD products in the state. It put in place labeling requirements including Quick Response codes linked to certificates of analysis, and other specifics for consumable CBD. All the companies we currently do business with follow these rules or will be doing so with future production.

There are still 4 states, as of this writing, where CBD products have been specifically ruled illegal. However, these states have been prohibited by the USDA interim rules from interfering with the transport of legally grown biomass or products across their states if certain documentation rules are followed.

So, the bottom line is that the USDA is regulating the business. The FDA has remained silent on all issues except medical claims, and Florida has said the CBD business is legitimate and legal. So, is there a question of legality? There isn’t for Blue Lotus Botanicals.

Blue Lotus Botanicals is here to help educate you about CBD, hemp derived products and their impact on your health. For questions, please contact us at


bottom of page