Florida adheres with the 2018 federal Farm Bill by legalizing the use of industrial hemp plant-derived CBD oil containing lower than 0.3% THC. CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC will not intoxicate the consumer. CBD oil produced from flowering marijuana plants typically has a higher amount of THC and is illegal in Florida. Per Florida law, you may only buy CBD oil with a THC content higher than 0.3% from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary. To do so, you must possess a valid Florida medical marijuana card and a licensed physician prescription.
In 2014, Florida lawmakers approved SB 1030, legalizing low-THC CBD oil for qualifying patients registered in the state medical marijuana program. This bill made it legal for patients with seizures, muscle spasms, cancer, and terminal illnesses to obtain doctors' recommendations for purchasing, possessing, and consuming medical cannabis containing 10% or more of CBD and no more than 0.8% THC.
Florida voters approved Amendment 2 in 2016 to significantly expand the state's medical marijuana program and increase the categories of illnesses that may be treated with CBD products for residents over the age of 21. Today, qualifying patients in Florida may use CBD products with high levels of CBD and THC.
In July 2019, Florida lawmakers passed SB 1020, which introduced several significant changes to CBD laws in the state. In compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill, SB 1020 included several key statutes, such as:
In legalizing hemp extracts, SB 1020 stipulated that hemp-derived cannabinoids are no longer controlled substances
In abiding with the 2018 Farm Bill, SB 1020 legalized hemp and defined it as a plant containing less than 0.3% THC by weight.
In the legalization of hemp extracts, SB 1020 defined hemp extract as any substance derived from legal hemp plants that are meant for ingestion and does not contain other controlled substances
The bill also required persons intending to grow and process hemp and hemp extracts, such as CBD oil, to apply for the relevant state licenses. Hemp products in the state must be tested by licensed independent laboratories, certifying that the product contains no more than 0.3% THC and does not contain any contaminants.
In March 2023, Florida legislature decided to make its regulation of hemp-derived products more stringent. With Bill CS/SB 1676 intended to take effect on July 1, 2023, hemp extract products including CBD products must contain no more than 0.5mg THC per serving or 2mg of total THC per package.
Florida has not imposed any restrictions on the amount of CBD that an individual may possess. Patients prescribed medical marijuana may acquire and possess up to four ounces of cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries with physicians' prescriptions.
Florida allows doctors to prescribe CBD oil to residents who possess state medical marijuana cards and have obtained physician certifications proving that they have tried other treatments but to no avail. Such residents must also have one or more of the following conditions:
Chronic muscle spasms
Any terminal condition or chronic malignant pain caused by a qualifying condition
From July 1, 2023 when Florida’s CS/SB 1676 Bill takes effect, CBD shops and dispensaries in the state can only sell CBD products meant for human consumption to individuals aged 21 or older.
On April 16, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) finally approved Florida's Hemp Cultivation Plan, making the state one of several states in the nation authorized by the USDA to regulate hemp cultivation and production. As authorized by the USDA and pursuant to the Florida Administrative Code R.5B-57.014, the Florida Hemp Cultivation Plan requires persons or entities proposing to cultivate hemp in the state to apply for a non-transferable license issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
Hemp cultivation licenses in Florida are renewable yearly and permit licensed growers only to cultivate hemp seeds that have been acquired from either a university conducting an industrial hemp pilot project or a certified agency. Before applying for a hemp cultivation license in Florida, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the specific ongoing responsibilities, such as crop harvests reporting, environmental containment maintenance, and samples submission for THC testing. Being aware of these rules will ensure that you understand the compliance demands for the license. All these requirements are contained in the Florida Hemp Cultivation rule.
An individual or entity seeking a license to cultivate hemp in Florida must submit the following to the FDACS:
A completed license application form.
A comprehensive description of each location intended for the cultivation of hemp, including address, legal land description, tax parcel number, and GPS coordinates
A complete set of fingerprints for each Control person and the Responsible person submitted via a Livescan service provider evaluated by the state Department of Law Enforcement for state and national processing to Department ORI (Originating Agency Identifier) number FL925080Z.
As defined by Florida, a Responsible Person is the one who oversees or manages the hemp farming activity on a day-to-day basis. A Control Person is any person, partnership, corporation, trust, or other entity that can, directly or indirectly, control a company's management or policy, whether by ownership of stocks, through contact, or any other means.
You can locate a Livescan service provider in your area using the Livescan service provider tool on the Florida Division of Medical Quality Assurance Web Portal. You may also view a list of accredited Livescan service providers in Florida by visiting the FDLE website. For further clarifications on the ORI number, contact the FDLE by mail at ApplicantChecks@fdle.state.fl.us or at (850) 410-8161.
The payment receipt and process reference number from the Livescan service provider must be submitted with the application. If the Department's fingerprint processing reveals criminal charges or convictions for violating state or federal controlled substance laws, the Department will notify the applicant that more information is required to complete the application.
Within 90 days after receipt of the notice, the applicant must provide the Department with a certified copy of the final disposition regarding the matter for which the Department sought further information.
An environmental containment plan. For convenience, you can find a sample environmental containment plan on the FDACS website. This plan should be for each Lot and include:
A containment system of silt walls, berms, or fallow sections consisting of bare dirt or ground cover to keep the hemp contained inside the Lot.
A plan to thoroughly clean any equipment utilized on the Lot prior to its removal from the property.
A transportation and movement plan that guarantees the propagative portions of hemp, live hemp plants, processed hemp plant material, and unprocessed hemp plant material are covered and transported in their entirety from noncontiguous sites.
In accordance with Rule 5K-4.034 and Section 581.217, the Division of Food Safety of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is authorized to issue food permits for business manufacturing, processing, holding, packing, preparing, or selling hemp extract intended for human consumption at retail or wholesale. Per Florida law, businesses selling hemp extract intended for human consumption in the state must obtain food permits from the Division of Food Safety.
To apply for a retail or wholesale food establishment permit, the applicant is advised to:
Review the food establishment minimum construction standards in order to verify that the facility to be used meets the required standards.
Apply for plan review. This voluntary review is designed to evaluate your existing building or your construction or conversion plan to assess compliance with the set requirements. You may check the plan review application on the FDACS website for more information or contact the Department by email at FoodInsp@FDACS.gov.
Have a designated certified food protection manager. The manager will develop and implement policies and procedures to prevent foodborne illnesses and conduct periodic in-house inspection of daily operations to ensure food safety policies are followed.
Develop a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan and obtain an FDACS Approved Process Alternative document from FDACS. Check the Retail Food Program and Special Processes at Retail pages of the FDACS website to verify that you have satisfied the requirements. Potential wholesalers should visit the wholesale food program page of the FDACS to confirm the requirements.
Verify that you meet all the applicable labeling requirements in Chapter 500, Florida Statutes, Section 581.217(7), and Rule 5K-4.034, Florida Administrative Code.
Obtain proof of approved water and septic systems. You may check the water and sewer requirements for food permits on the FDACS website.
Pay the relevant food establishment permit fee.
Cannabinoid hemp products in Florida must adhere to the labeling requirements stipulated in the 21 CFR Part 101. The CBD products must include the following in their packaging:
A list of all ingredients and sub-ingredients in order of prevalence: All hemp foods and extracts must provide ingredient lists in ascending order of prominence.
The business name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor: The label must include the name, address, and contact information for the appropriate entities. This requirement is one of the most often omitted information on hemp extract labels today, according to the FDACS.
Statement of Identity: On the front of the label, the statement of identity must be stated, along with the product's name and description. A product may be labeled as a hemp extract or by its primary cannabinoid. Florida permits businesses to lawfully promote CBD on their labels as long as they adhere to the required standards.
The measurement and weight of the product: The product's weight must be clearly displayed and contain both metric and U.S. measurement terms.
If the product contains particular cannabinoids, such as CBD or CBN, the label must indicate the milligrams of each cannabinoid contained in each serving. Additionally, the serving size must be displayed in a volumetric measurement on the product's nutrition information or supplement facts label, such as milligrams. Serving sizes that are not compliant include "one dropper," "one tablespoon," and "one nibble."
If the product's name contains the words "hemp," "hemp oil," or "hemp extract," the label is not required to specify the quantity of cannabinoid(s) in each serving. In this case, the law demands the declaration of the milligrams of hemp extract included in each product.
While the listed conditions are generic to food labeling requirements, hemp extract products labels must also contain the following components:
Batch Number: The batch number is a distinct identifier printed on the product that enables the product's manufacturing history to be tracked. This number is critical because if a single product is contaminated, the whole batch must be recalled.
Website: A label must contain a website address that consumers may use to acquire the batch information about the package.
Expiration Date: A hemp extract label must include the year and month of expiration of the product. The manufacturer may decide this information provided the product's labeled potency stays constant throughout the life cycle.
Required Statement: The statement below must be put verbatim on the label. Florida law prohibits any alteration to the wording, even if the general meaning remains the same:
"Product contains a total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry-weight basis."
You may purchase hemp CBD products online or in various locations, including convenience stores, health food stores, CBD shops, and an increasing number of cafés, restaurants, and coffee shops in Florida. CBD may also be purchased online or in stores. Patients registered for medicinal marijuana use in the state may buy CBD products that include a greater concentration of THC at licensed medical dispensaries in the state.
CBD oil is the product of mixing CBD extract with a carrier oil. The two most commonly used carrier oils are coconut oil and hemp seed oil. When extracted from hemp, CBD appears as a thick paste. Mixing it with a carrier oil makes it easier to consume and improves its shelf life.
Cannabidiol, also called CBD, is one of the active compounds in cannabis. It is derived from the cannabis plant that may be formulated into an oil with health benefits, including reducing inflammation and pain. Although CBD does not produce the "high" often associated with marijuana use like the more commonly known chemical compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it has generated much interest due to its potential health benefits.
CBD is available in various forms, including topicals and lotions, oils, crystals, waxes, e-liquids, and capsules. While all forms of cannabidiol have a range of medicinal advantages, some are more effective than others at addressing certain medical conditions. The effectiveness is not mainly related to the CBD concentration but to the time required for the CBD to take effect and the duration of those benefits for the consumers. That is, some forms of CBD may be more beneficial than others for the treatment of more severe symptoms that need quick alleviation.
Pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill, United States citizens can legally produce, purchase, and use CBD products provided the products meet certain conditions. For a CBD product to be federally legal, it must be hemp-derived and contain no more than 0.3% THC. Marijuana-derived CBD and hemp-derived CBD products with more than 0.3% THC remain federally illegal.
The 2018 Farm Bill does not modify the legal status of hemp or hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) in individual states. While the Senate version of the bill may have legalized hemp nationally, the final Farm Bill leaves hemp legalization to the states.
One approved use of CBD is as an anti-seizure medication for the management of epilepsy. However, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest CBD has other neurological benefits. Preliminary studies indicate it may be useful for managing some mental health disorders and improving depression. Other studies provide early evidence to support the use of CBD in the management of chronic pain and inflammation as well as improving appetite and lowering high blood pressure.
While cannabis drug tests do not look for CBD, they can detect significant levels of THC and its metabolites in the body. With most CBD products containing some THC, CBD users may fail cannabis drug tests if they have recently consumed large doses of CBD or CBD products containing more than Florida-approved levels of THC. Long-term users of CBD may also have detectable levels of THC metabolites even if they only use CBD products containing very low levels of THC.