Is CBD oil legal in Nebraska?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- Nebraska CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in Nebraska
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) oil and other products derived from hemp that have been evaluated by regulators are legal in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, signed into law on May 30, 2019, allows for the cultivation and commercial distribution of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products, as long as they are tested and approved by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. CBD that is derived from the marijuana plant is still considered illegal in the state and federally, unless it meets Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements such as in prescription formulations.
The act aligns with the federal Farm Bill of 2018 and its definitions of hemp and marijuana, using 0.3% THC by weight as the legal threshold between the two.
What is CBD?
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, and the-second-most prominent compound in the plant after THC, which is largely responsible for the cannabis high. Sourced from marijuana or hemp plants, CBD has a wide range of potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties. Most cannabis strains on the market today contain small amounts of CBD, compared with THC. But since the cannabinoid has gained considerable attention for its wide range of potential benefits, a number of high-CBD strains have popped up in recent years.
CBD elicits effects on the body through a range of biological pathways, including the body’s most common cannabinoid receptors, which cannabinoids bind to so they can be broken down and dispersed by enzymes. Current research suggests that the benefits of CBD are achieved when the cannabinoid activates multiple receptor pathways rather than just one. This may also account for CBD’s wide range of potential therapeutic uses.
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
Hemp strains don’t produce enough of the cannabinoid THC to cause intoxication, but all types of cannabis, including hemp, were considered illegal under the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation swept all cannabis under the Schedule 1 umbrella, which defined cannabis as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation and created a clear pathway to remove some cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Under the new legislation, hemp is classified as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight; marijuana is cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC. As a result, hemp-derived CBD was descheduled by the bill, but marijuana and its derivatives, including CBD, remain Schedule 1 substances. Hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity under the 2018 Farm Bill, but it must be produced and sold under regulations that implement the bill. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has yet to create these regulations.
The Farm Bill also endowed the FDA with the ability to regulate CBD’s labeling, therapeutic claims, and presence in foods or drinks. Despite the Farm Bill’s passage, the FDA has issued a directive that no CBD, not even hemp-derived, may be added to food or beverages or marketed as a dietary supplement. As time passes, the FDA has begun re-evaluating that stance on CBD products but has yet to revise rules or specifically regulate CBD products. The FDA’s slow movement has created further confusion on the state level.
The FDA has historically been strict when it comes to health claims or content that could be understood as medical advice — and makes no exception for CBD.
Hemp production and sale, including its cannabinoids and CBD specifically, remain tightly regulated federally. The Farm Bill provides that individual states may also regulate and even prohibit CBD cultivation and commerce. States may attempt to regulate CBD in food, beverage, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently of the FDA’s rules.
Laws and regulations regarding CBD are evolving nationwide. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Nebraska CBD laws
The Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, or LB 657) was signed into law by Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts on May 30, 2019, effectively bringing Nebraska law in line with the 2018 Farm Bill. Under both the Farm Bill and the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, CBD oil derived from a cannabis or hemp plant which contains less than 0.3% THC is a legal substance.
Prior to the passing of the state hemp bill, the Nebraska legislature had passed a hemp agricultural pilot program, which allowed for the cultivation of industrial hemp by the state Department of Agriculture or approved state universities. The Nebraska Hemp Farming Act requires the Department of Agriculture to submit regulations for hemp cultivation for federal approval, per the demands of the Farm Bill.
Though the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act doesn’t name CBD directly, it does state that legal hemp includes any derivative, extract, or cannabinoid with no more than 0.3% THC. The slight lack of clarity within the language of the bill has caused some confusion among prospective CBD sellers and legislatures over whether CBD is completely legal, even under the new regulations.
Prior to the passing of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act, Republican Attorney General Doug Peterson issued a memo stating that, unless CBD is in an FDA-approved drug or authorized by the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) it was still considered a Schedule 1 substance by the state. As of September 2019, the Attorney General has yet to issue a new statement on the matter in follow-up to the passing of the hemp farming bill.
Licensing requirements for CBD
Those looking to cultivate, process, handle, and broker industrial hemp in the state of Nebraska must apply with the Department of Agriculture and pay the necessary cultivator, cultivator site registration, processor-handler site, and site modification fees with the Department of Agriculture. All hemp and hemp-derived CBD products must also be tested for THC concentration by a state-licensed testing facility.
Selling unapproved CBD products is considered sale of a controlled substance under Nebraska law. Penalties for cultivating or selling a controlled substance in Nebraska includes a $25,000 fine and a prison sentence of one to 20 years.
Nebraska CBD possession limits
Possession of hemp-derived CBD is legal as long as it was derived from hemp cultivated and sold under state regulations. Possession of CBD derived from a non-regulated source is considered possession of a controlled substance and results in prison time and fines if convicted.
A first offense of possession of 1 ounce, or 28.35 grams, or less of cannabis is treated as an infraction with a $300 fine. For second and third offenses, possession of 1 ounce, or 28.35 grams, or less result in a $500 fine with five and seven days jail time, respectively. Possession of more than 1 ounce to 1 pound, or 28.35 to 454 grams, of cannabis is a misdemeanor, resulting in a $500 fine and three months of incarceration. Possession of more than 1 pound, or 454 grams, is a felony, with penalties including five years prison time and a $10,000 fine.
New formulations of CBD allow the cannabinoid to be used in a variety of ways. Photo by: (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)
Where to buy CBD in Nebraska
CBD oil and other CBD products can be legally purchased from state retailers that have sourced their product from licensed hemp cultivators. CBD is also available for sale from online retailers, but may not offer products that meet the requirements of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
The 2018 Farm Bill shifted oversight from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As the FDA slowly begins to make new regulations for CBD products, the market remains largely buyer beware. Still, the agency warns that in-flux regulations don’t excuse companies from making only reputable claims on their labeling.
Most reputable CBD producers will typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:
- 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.
Is CBD oil legal in Nebraska? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD? Why is CBD sometimes illegal? Nebraska CBD laws Where to
LB657 and LB1152, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts, adopted the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act and amended existing statutes to establish a state hemp program within the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). The legislation gave NDA the authority to regulate the growing, processing, handling and brokering of hemp in Nebraska. To legally grow hemp in Nebraska, interested parties must receive a license from NDA, regardless of the size or purpose for cultivation. Growing, processing, handling, and/or brokering hemp without a license from NDA or a Tribe with a USDA-approved hemp plan is illegal in Nebraska.
Click on the headings to view the documents.
If you wish to apply for a license for the remainder of 2020, please call 402-471-2351 for an application.
Below you will find links to all of the forms and applications associated with the Nebraska Hemp Program. Please read the application guidance document associated with your license type (cultivator or processor-handler) prior to submission. All license applications must be submitted by mail or in-person.
Applications – the following applications are for 2021 hemp licenses
Hemp Program LB657 and LB1152, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts, adopted the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act and amended existing statutes to establish a state