Rules With Selling CBD Online Are Changing

Rules With Selling CBD Online Are Changing
By max May 18, 2023

The CBD industry has taken off in recent years, fueled by the growing popularity of CBD products like oils, edibles, lotions, and pet treats. As demand for CBD skyrockets, more businesses are entering the market – particularly online retailers.

However, the current regulatory environment for CBD is complex and varies by state. While CBD from hemp was federally legalized in 2018, each state regulates CBD differently. As CBD use increases and research expands, rules are likely to evolve rapidly.

Online CBD companies must adapt to this changing landscape to navigate emerging challenges and seize opportunities. This article will discuss how regulations for selling CBD online are shifting, potential strategies for CBD businesses to comply with, and what the future may hold.

Clarifying regulations could ultimately help the industry by establishing manufacturing and labeling standards. But companies must first navigate a legal maze of state and potential federal restrictions on certain products. Those who lead the way in shaping policy will be best positioned for long-term success. The rules are changing quickly; adapting proactively will be key for online CBD sellers who want stability in this booming market.

 Challenges with shipping CBD across state lines

cbd online

 Selling CBD products online and shipping them to customers across the country presents several legal challenges. While CBD derived from hemp is legal federally, states have taken varying approaches to CBD regulation.

Age Restrictions

Many states require CBD customers to be over 18 or 21 years old. Verifying customer age for online orders can be difficult, exposing retailers to potential legal risks. CBD sites must have thorough age verification processes and record-keeping systems in place.

Shipping Restrictions

Some states ban or restrict the import of certain CBD products, such as CBD edibles. Online retailers must thoroughly research each state’s shipping laws to avoid legal trouble. CBD businesses should consult with lawyers to clarify import/export rules and obtain any necessary permits.

THC Content

Some states only allow CBD products with less than 0.3% THC, while others have higher limits. Retailers shipping to multiple states must take care to meet the THC restrictions for each location. CBD products containing THC also face complex age restrictions and shipping laws.

Labeling Requirements

States have different CBD labeling requirements for things like dosage, serving size, warnings, and disclaimers. Non-compliant labels can lead to legal issues for online retailers, so businesses must tailor products and packaging to each destination state’s rules.

Risk of Federal Prosecution

While federal authorities have generally taken a hands-off approach to CBD, the legal status of shipping CBD across state lines remains unclear. Some experts warn online CBD retailers could face criminal prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act due to varying state definitions of “marijuana.” For now, the risk seems low but still poses uncertainty for the industry.

Evolving state CBD laws and regulations

evaluation of cbd selling laws

 As the CBD industry grows, states are enacting new laws and regulations to govern CBD products. These evolving rules present opportunities but also challenges for online CBD retailers that ship to multiple states.

Labelling Changes

Several states have implemented new labeling requirements for CBD products. This includes adding information like batch numbers, serving sizes, dosage instructions, and warning statements. States are also requiring stricter limits on the margin of error for THC content labeling. Online CBD retailers must carefully track changing state labeling regulations to avoid legal trouble.

Restrictions on Certain Products

Some states have implemented product-specific restrictions. For example, Idaho bans the sale of CBD edibles, and certain states prohibit CBD concentrates and vaping products. Retailers shipping CBD throughout the U.S. must monitor each state’s rules around permissible product types.

Varying Potency and Serving Size Limits

States differ widely in the allowable serving size and potency for CBD products. For example, Colorado limits CBD edibles to 10 mg per portion while Hawaii allows up to 100 mg. This variation forces online businesses to customize product formulations based on the destination state. CBD businesses should consult lawyers to ensure compliance with each state’s dosage limits.

Licensing and Fee Requirements

An increasing number of states now require CBD licenses, permits, and fee payments. Rules vary greatly by state in terms of what entities must be licensed, the costs involved, and the required application information. Online CBD retailers shipping to multiple states must navigate a complex web of licensing systems.

Proposed Changes Still in the Works

State CBD regulations continue to evolve rapidly as newly proposed laws and amendments work through legislatures. Many states are considering stricter limits on product types, THC content, and potency. To adapt, online CBD sellers must consistently monitor proposed rule changes and participate in policy discussions.

Strategies for CBD companies

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 As regulations evolve rapidly, CBD companies must adapt in order to succeed. Here are some key strategies for online CBD retailers aiming to navigate a changing legal landscape:

Focus on Quality and Transparency

Build consumer trust by implementing rigorous testing and quality control programs. Publish lab reports and data to demonstrate the purity, potency, and safety of products. Transparency helps set companies apart from less scrupulous competitors and reassures customers amid regulatory uncertainty.

Ship Only to the Legal States

Clearly disclose shipping policies and state-specific restrictions on product pages and during checkout. Consider shipping only to states where CBD is clearly legal to minimize risks. Keep accurate records of shipments by destination to demonstrate compliance if needed.

Thorough Age Verification

Use technologies that safely and accurately verify customer age for orders. Require multiple forms of ID and keep a record of verifications to demonstrate a good faith effort at complying with state restrictions. Stay up to date on each state’s specific age limits.

Adapt Product Formulations

Monitor changing state regulations on factors like THC limits, serving sizes, and potency. Customize CBD formulations to precisely meet requirements for each destination state. Consider phasing out high-risk product types like edibles or concentrates in restrictive locations.

Obtain Necessary Licenses

Acquire all required state licenses, permits, and fee payments to operate legally. Stay on top of newly proposed licensing rules and obtain additional licenses promptly once they are enacted. Consult with lawyers to ensure full compliance.

Participate in Policy Discussions

Get involved with trade groups, advocacy organizations, and policymaker outreach. Educate regulators and legislators about CBD to shape regulations in a fair and sensible manner. Companies that lead the way by proposing reasonable solutions will gain an advantage.

Hire Legal Expertise

Consult with CBD-focused attorneys who can advise on state and federal compliance. Consider hiring full-time in-house counsel with regulatory experience. Use legality as a marketing differentiator by highlighting compliance certifications and legal partnerships.

Impact of potential federal CBD Regulation

 While CBD derived from hemp is currently legal at the federal level, many questions remain about future federal regulation of the industry. The FDA and DEA are still deciding how – and if – to regulate CBD on a national scale. Potential federal action could have wide-ranging impacts:

Potential FDA Oversight

The FDA has said it plans to release a report on regulating CBD this year. Scenarios range from enforcing good manufacturing practices to placing CBD under an FDA drug approval process. Any move to regulate CBD as a drug at the federal level would have major ramifications for the industry.

National Labeling Standards

The FDA could implement federal labeling requirements for CBD products like serving size, dosage instructions, nutritional information, and warnings. This could help resolve current consumer confusion and standardize information for customers across states. However, many companies would have to change labels to comply.

Manufacturing Guidance

The FDA could issue manufacturing guidelines covering issues like facility registrations, testing requirements, and quality control standards. This could benefit CBD businesses by providing a clear roadmap for legality. But some companies may struggle to meet stricter federal rules.

Product Bans or Restrictions

Federal regulators may ban certain CBD product types seen as risky like edibles, concentrates, or vaping products. They could also impose potency limits or THC restrictions that differ from many states’ rules. Companies focused on more tightly regulated products would face challenges.

Possible Reclassification as Controlled Substance

More stringent federal action could involve the DEA reclassifying CBD as a Schedule I or II drug, making it illegal at the national level. While this scenario seems unlikely at the moment, it remains a possibility that would drastically alter the current regulatory framework.

Clearing Current Confusion

Even moderate federal rules imposing labeling standards and good manufacturing practices could help resolve many of the current inconsistencies across states. Clarifying the legal status of CBD at a national level may satisfy businesses’ calls for more regulatory certainty.

Preparing for Regulation

Regardless of the form federal action takes, CBD companies should prepare now by focusing on product safety and quality, documenting testing procedures, establishing a compliance program, and consulting with legal experts. Companies that adapt early to coming federal requirements will have an advantage over late movers.


 Regulations surrounding the sale of CBD online will continue to evolve rapidly as the industry grows. States will propose new rules, and federal agencies may also implement regulations in the coming years. Online CBD companies must adapt to this changing legal landscape in order to succeed long-term.

Those that proactively invest in compliance programs, consult with legal experts, participate in shaping emerging policies and adapt quickly to new rules will gain a competitive advantage. Establishing a reputation for transparency, high-quality products and trustworthiness will also set businesses up for stability through the regulatory growing pains sure to lie ahead. Clarifying the cloudy legal status of CBD has benefits for the industry, but the transition period promises to be challenging. Companies that emerge as leaders through this transition stand to reap the greatest rewards in the booming years to come.