Yes. In Wyoming, cannabidiol (CBD) oil is legal to use and possess, as long as it's only a hemp-derived product that contains less than .3% THC by weight. The state formerly had stricter laws regarding CBD use for medical patients, but these restrictions have since been loosened following the passage of a House Bill 171, which state lawmakers approved in March 2019. The measure removed hemp and hemp-derived CBD products from the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. Cannabidiol is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD can be sourced from both marijuana and hemp plants.
Combine THC and CBD to fully employ the entourage effect.
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
Even though hemp strains don't produce enough of the cannabinoid THC to cause intoxication, all types of cannabis, including hemp, were considered illegal under the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation swept all cannabis into the Schedule I category, which defined cannabis as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction.
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 legalized hemp cultivation and created a pathway to remove some cannabis from Schedule I status by creating a legal threshold: Hemp is cannabis that contains less than .3% THC by weight, and marijuana is cannabis that contains more than .3% THC. Hemp-derived CBD products were thus descheduled by the bill, but CBD derived from the marijuana plant is still considered federally illegal because marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I substance. While hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity, it still must be produced and sold under regulations that implement the bill.
The Farm Bill also gave the FDA the authority to regulate CBD's labeling, therapeutic claims, and its use as a food additive. Despite the passage of the Farm Bill, the FDA has taken the stance that even hemp-derived CBD may not be added to food and beverages, nor marketed as dietary supplements. While the FDA has begun a process of reevaluating its stance on such CBD products, it has yet to revise its rules or specifically regulate CBD products. The FDA has been strict when it comes to health claims and content that could be construed as medical advice about CBD.
The federal legislation thus still highly regulates the production and sale of hemp and hemp derivatives, including CBD. The 2018 Hemp Farming Bill also provides states with the ability to regulate and even prohibit CBD cultivation and commerce. In addition, states may attempt to regulate CBD food, beverage, dietary supplement, and cosmetic products, independently of the FDA finalizing its views on such products.
Wyoming CBD laws
In 2015, there was a strict medical process through the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) that allowed CBD to be prescribed to patients with severe epilepsy. People had to apply for a Hemp Extract Registration Card, which cost $150 and needed to be renewed annually.
The law permitted people in Wyoming to use medical CBD oil products that contain less than .3% of THC by weight and only to treat intractable epilepsy. The Hemp Extract Registry ceased operation following the passage of House Bill 171, the 2019 House Enrolled Act (HEA) 110.
Wyoming lawmakers worked on an amendment called House Bill 171 to match the federal classification of hemp and hemp-derived CBD laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill. As of March 6, 2019, the state enacted the measure, which was signed into law by Governor Mark Gordon, formally removing hemp and hemp-derived CBD from the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act.
In addition to catching up to the federal law on hemp, House Bill 171 opens up the world of farming and hemp production for the state. The law gives the Wyoming Department of Agriculture regulatory authority over hemp production. The House voted in favor 56-3 and the bill passed the Wyoming Senate with a 26-3 vote.
The law also sets a framework for the state to work with tribal governments and pave the way for Native American farmers to access hemp production. The law also sets up a research process with the University of Wyoming to cultivate and find out more about hemp.
After Gordon signed House Bill 171, the state's Department of Agriculture submitted its plan for rulemaking and regulating hemp to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), but it has yet to be approved.
Wyoming CBD possession limits
In the past, before Wyoming passed House Bill 171, it was a felony to sell, buy or possess CBD oil containing more than .3% of THC. However, the state seems to have eased up on its penalties for CBD possession as long as it follows the federal limit of .3% THC.
If found with CBD oil that contains more than .3% THC, individuals will face marijuana possession charges under the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act. Individuals found possessing less than .3 grams of liquid concentrate containing more than .3% THC face a misdemeanor charge with penalties of up to 12 months incarceration and a $1,000 fine. Possession of more than .3 grams of concentrated liquid with more than .3% THC is a felony with penalties of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Where to buy CBD Oil in Wyoming
More stores have been selling CBD oil in Wyoming since the law was amended in the state in March 2019. These include health stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and CBD-specific retailers.
CBD oil is also legal and available for purchase online, but buyers must be certain that it contains less than the legal federal limit on THC. The United States Postal Service confirmed in June 2019 that it allows carriers to legally deliver hemp-derived CBD through the mail.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
As of September 2019, the FDA does not allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn't reached a conclusion on regulating hemp-derived CBD products. While the FDA slowly and cautiously approaches making new regulations for CBD products, the gap between regulated products and anything goes grows wider, leaving consumers at risk of buying poor-quality products. When buying CBD products look for these on the label:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
- Net weight.
- Manufacturer or distributor name.
- Suggested use.
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.
One of the most important things to pay attention to is if a CBD product is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
Full-spectrum means that the CBD has been extracted from a hemp plant along with all other chemicals in the plant, including terpenes and trace amounts of THC. Consuming full-spectrum CBD may yield better results due to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, which happens when cannabis compounds work together to bolster the benefits of the plant.
Broad-spectrum means that the product contains CBD and terpenes, but has undergone additional processes to strip out THC.
Finally, CBD isolate is a product that has gone through more intensive processing to remove everything but CBD. Consuming isolate may produce different effects than full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, as these products do not produce the entourage effect. However, CBD isolate may be preferable for someone looking to avoid even trace amounts of THC.