In This Article
In this article we explore the complications that the state and federal legal system is creating in buying and consuming hemp flower. This list is accurate when it was written in December 2019 with running updates (last update May 2021). Please make your own research if you are in doubt on the legalities of hemp flower in your state.
- Where Is CBD Flower Legal?
- Is it Legal to Smoke Hemp?
- State Law vs Federal Law
- List Of States Where Hemp Is Illegal
- Other States
- The Future of Smokable Hemp
Where Is CBD Flower Legal?
When congress passed the hemp farming act in 2018, cultivation of hemp and the production and use of hemp and CBD products became legal at a federal level.
The Farm Bill legally identifies hemp as a cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC* (the cannabinoid responsible for making you high), and thereby removed hemp from the controlled substances list.
*The updated ruling states that the total THC percentage (as opposed to the Delta-9 THC percentage) needs to be below .3% in order for the crop to be legal. This is only true for plants that were harvested after March 2021. This means that you need to verify the harvest and testing dated on the lab certificate in order to see true compliance.
So, we’re all good on smokable hemp, right..?
Unfortunately, no, not necessarily.
Some state lawmakers have started getting involved and the new state laws can be pretty confusing, and depending on where you live, smoking hemp could actually be illegal. And if you consider Delta-8 THC products you have to be even more careful since it has some local state laws that completely outlawed it.
“…Depending on where you live, smoking hemp could actually be illegal.”
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Is it Legal to Smoke Hemp?
Smoking premium quality hemp quickly became an incredibly popular method of CBD consumption and starting to compete with more mainstream CBD categories like tinctures and gummies.
Some regular tobacco smokers have even started smoking hemp instead of tobacco since trying Green Unicorn Farms!
Not only for the pleasurable experience alone, but also because it allows the user to take their CBD along with all of the other naturally occurring plant compounds, as nature intended.
Not everyone’s a fan though…
The difficulty in telling well-grown, premium smokable hemp, and marijauna apart, has led to problems for law enforcement who don’t currently have access to on-the-spot THC testing kits.
Some states have called for a ban on smokable hemp, citing these difficulties as the reason behind it. Furthermore, the explosion of Delta-8 THC and the fact that it is psychoactive in the same way as cannabis (although much less potent) has caused many states to completely ban hemp derived Delta 8 THC products.
This also sparked debate in regards to lowering the allowed total THC percentage of all CBD products to .3% (as opposed to the previously allowed .3% Delta-9 THC and no cap on the total THC).
“The difficulty in telling well-grown, premium smokable hemp, and marijauna apart, has led to problems for law enforcement.”
State Law vs Federal Law
When the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp at a federal level, the popularity of hemp products, especially CBD, exploded, but it’s still up to each individual state to determine its public use.
In the case of smokable hemp, it seems that a small handful of states are determined to move against federal law, by doing everything they can to make possessing or smoking hemp illegal, because they don’t like the way it looks. Literally.
What we’re left with (to put it bluntly), is a confusing mess of conflicting hemp laws, that could change again at any moment.
Unfortunately, this leaves many Americans without access, or confused about their right to access, some of the highest quality and most effective CBD products on the market.
Find Green Unicorn Farms’ CBD hemp flower for sale here.
“[a] handful of states are determined to move against federal law, by doing everything they can to make possessing or smoking hemp illegal, because they don’t like the way it looks.”
List Of States Where Hemp Is Illegal
Here is a list (correct at the time of publishing) of some of the states that aren’t very smokable-hemp-friendly.
If you are unfortunate enough to live within them, then it’s illegal for you to buy or smoke hemp, but you should also be aware of their policies if you live nearby and there is a chance you may drive across the state line from time to time.
Please note: This list is not exhaustive and was updated on 5/12/2021.
For the most accurate data — Add some Hawaiian Haze CBD Flower to your shopping cart and try to checkout. If you get blocked after putting in your shipping address, it’s still not legal for us to ship to you.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill into law on June 17th, 2020, containing regulations for the state’s industrial hemp and CBD industry. The bill, ACT 344/HB 843, includes language that bans all smokeable hemp products except for rolling papers.
A lot of states are getting sued due to their smokable hemp ban which is putting legalities in limbo. Louisiana is trying to get a law in place where hemp retailers need to register for tobacco and alcohol sales before they are allowed to perform any retail of hemp in the state.
Read more about the smokable hemp ban here
Just a couple of months ago, North Carolina officials agreed to prohibit smokable hemp production and use, as of May 2020.
Other CBD products will remain legal but smokable hemp will be off limits due to identification problems it causes law enforcement.
We get the question, “Is hemp legal in Texas?” on an almost daily basis. The answer on if hemp flower is legal in Texas is a bit complicated due to the way that they have divided hemp flower from other hemp products.
In June this year, Texas signed a bill, effective immediately, that made the cultivation of hemp, and production, sale, and use of hemp products (such as CBD) legal.
Smokable hemp is singled out, however, as the same bill strictly prohibits the growth and use of hemp for smoking purposes. Whether or not it’s legal to posses for other purposes is still unclear and in some kind of a grey-area.
As a rule of thumb it is allowed to have loose flower but not pre rolls. That is because the case can more easily be made that loose buds are more versatile and not necessarily used only for smoking.
At this present moment it is allowed to buy hemp online but not in brick and mortar stores.
[UPDATE] —There has been a lot of back-n-forth in Texas resulting in a temporary injunction made by Judge Livingston where hemp flower is legal again until the final trial takes place on February 1st of 2021.
The law in Kentucky is worded as such that it is illegal to grow, handle, process, or market any part of the hemp plant (whether it be live plants, seeds, leaf or floral materials) without a license.
This makes growing and production legal with a license, but as a wannabe CBD consumer (and non-license holder), you’re not allowed to possess hemp flower itself, only post-production CBD extracts.
According to the SEA 516 bill, while the cultivation of hemp, along with production and sale of CBD products is legal (including CBD vapes), it also specified that there will be a criminal penalty for those found “dealing, manufacturing, financing, or possessing smokable hemp”.
Good news came for Indiana folks, however, when a federal judge threw out Indiana’s ban on smokable hemp, calling it unconstitutional to ban one type of hemp, just because they can’t distinguish it from marijuana.
Well done Governor Holcomb!
Meanwhile in Other States…
In 2021 Gov. Newsom essentially banned smokable hemp flower in the state of California when he passed a bill putting extreme pressure on CA hemp farms and retailers. The bill puts smokable hemp flower under the same framework as cannabis.
“AB 45 requires the same testing for California hemp products as is required for California cannabis products, which are some of the most stringent in the nation,” Vote Hemp
In Utah it’s legal to possess hemp, but not to smoke, distribute, or market it.
In some parts of Florida it is illegal to smoke any type of cannabis product (including hemp and medical marijuana) in public spaces, but it’s fine in your own home.
Florida is also one of the very few states that has given a green light to the psychoactive cannabinoid Delta 8 THC. For consumers it means that you are allowed to consume any D8 THC product with D9 THC below .3%.
The only caveat is for the manufacturers who need to produce the D8 in the state of Florida in order to be compliant. The issue is that Florida doesn’t grow outdoor hemp. Without outdoor hemp being grown, it will create supply chain issues due to a lack of supply compared to demand.
The Kansas hemp program specifically prohibits the sale of hemp to anyone that doesn’t hold a hemp license.
Not only does every one of these states have different rules, but quite often the wording can be confusing or misleading so it’s important to check with your local authorities if you’re concerned.
“Not only does every one of these states have different rules, but quite often the wording can be confusing or misleading so it’s important to check with your local authorities if you’re concerned.”
The Future of Smokable Hemp
The sudden flurry of smokable hemp bans was, understandably, quite worrying for the smokable hemp industry.
Farmers, retailers, and fans of smokable hemp would all be affected if this continued.
The federal court ruling in Indiana, however, was a game-changer.
While the decision does not affect smokable hemp bans in other states, it does suggest that they can be challenged, and won, in the future.
If you’re worried about the legality of smokable hemp in your state, the best thing you can do is to do your own state-specific research, and make sure it’s up to date!
“While the decision does not affect smokable hemp bans in other states, it does suggest that they can be challenged, and won, in the future.”