16 States with Laws Specifically about Legal Cannabidiol (CBD) (as of Mar. 17, 2016)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 400+ ingredients found in marijuana and is not psychoactive. Many states have passed laws allowing for the use of a CBD extract, usually in oil form, with minimal tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and often for the treatment of epilepsy or seizures in seriously ill children.
We do not consider passing a CBD-specific law to be the equivalent of making medical marijuana legal because these laws do not legalize use of the marijuana plant for medical purposes. See our resource on the legal medical marijuana states for more information.
On Apr. 1, 2014, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed SB 174, known as "Carly's Law," which allows an affirmative defense against prosecution for CBD possession by people suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition. The law states that "a prescription for the possession or use of cannabidiol (CBD) as authorized by this act shall be provided exclusively by the UAB [University of Alabama at Birmingham] Department for a debilitating epileptic condition." Since marijuana is illegal under federal laws, doctors are not allowed to write "prescriptions" for it. The states that have legal medical marijuana allow doctors to "recommend" it.
On June 23, 2015, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed Rylie's Law, SB 90 , which states: "[T]he Department shall issue a registry identification card to a qualifying patient with intractable epilepsy or involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow, repetitive movements or abnormal postures, such as dystonia, who is younger than 18 years of age, but only for the use of medical marijuana oil [that is not more than 7% THC]."
On June 16, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed SB 1030 into law, which allows the use of non-smoked cannabis oil that is less than 0.8% THC and more than 10% cannabidiol by certain patients with cancer, chronic seizures, or severe muscle spasms. Gov. Scott stated the following in a news release from his office:
"As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer. The approval of Charlotte's Web [a low-THC cannabis oil used to treat illnesses such as epilepsy in children] will ensure that children in Florida who suffer from seizures and other debilitating illnesses will have the medication needed to improve their quality of life. I am proud to stand today with families who deserve the ability to provide their children with the best treatment available."
On Apr. 16, 2015 Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed HB 1 (Haleigh's Hope Act) into law, allowing the use of cannabis oil that is contains no more than 5% THC for the following conditions: seizure disorders, sickle cell anemia, cancer, Crohn's disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, mitocondrial disease and Parkinson's disease. Deal stated at the signing:
"For the families enduring separation and patients suffering pain, the wait is finally over... Now, Georgia children and their families may return home while continuing to receive much-needed care. Patients such as Haleigh Cox, for whom this bill is named, and others suffering from debilitating conditions can now receive the treatment they need, in the place where they belong: Georgia."
On May 30, 2014, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed SF 2360 into law, saying "This bill received tremendous support and truly shows the power of people talking to their legislators and to their governor about important issues to them, to their families and to their children." The bill allows the possession or use of cannabidiol that has less than 3% tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] for the treatment of intractable epilepsy with the written recommendation of a neurologist. The bill states that the cannabidiol must be obtained from an out-of-state source and "recommended for oral or transdermal administration" (non-smoked).
On Apr. 10, 2014, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed SB 124 . The law excludes from the definition of marijuana the "substance cannabidiol, when transferred, dispensed, or administered pursuant to the written order of a physician practicing at a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a Kentucky public university having a college or school of medicine."
On Apr. 17, 2014, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed HB 1231 , "Harper Grace's Law," which allows for cannabis extract, oil, or resin that contains more than 15% CBD and less than 0.5% THC. "The CBD oil must be obtained from or tested by the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi and dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center." The law also provides an affirmative defense for defendants suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition who accessed the CBD oil in accordance with the requirements set forth in the bill and is effective July 1, 2014.
Governor Bryant released the following statement to the media on Apr. 17, 2014:
"The bill I signed into law today will help children who suffer from severe seizure disorders. Throughout the legislative process I insisted on the tightest controls and regulations for this measure, and I have been assured by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics that CBD oil is not an intoxicant. The outcome is a bill that allows this substance to be used therapeutically as is the case for other controlled prescription medications. I remain opposed to any effort that would attempt to legalize marijuana or its derivatives outside of the confines of this bill."
On July 14, 2014, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed HB 2238 into law, which allows the use of cannabis oil that is at least 5% CBD and less than 0.3% THC for intractable epilepsy. The bill requires a neurologist to determine that the patient did not respond to at least three treatment options to be eligible to use the marijuana extract.
9. North Carolina
On July 3, 2014, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 1220 into law. The bill allows universities to conduct clinical trials using CBD oil that is less than 0.3% THC and at least 10% CBD to be used only for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.
On Apr. 30, 2015, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed HB 2154 , which allows the use of cannabis oil that is no more than 0.3% THC for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy. Fallin stated at the signing:
"This bill will help get sick children potentially life-changing medicine. By crafting the legislation in a way that allows for tightly controlled medical studies, we can ensure we are researching possible treatments in a responsible and scientific way. The CBD oil we are studying is a non-intoxicating derivative of marijuana. It is not marijuana, and it is not anything that can make you 'high.' This law has been narrowly crafted to support highly supervised medical trials for children with debilitating seizures. It is not a first step towards legalizing marijuana, and I will never support the legalization of marijuana in Oklahoma."
On June 2, 2014, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed S 1035 into law. "Julian's Law" pertains to people who obtain a written certification signed by a physician "stating that the patient has been diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, also known as 'severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy', or any other severe form of epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies and the physician's conclusion that the patient might benefit from the medical use of cannabidiol." Those patients may use CBD oil that is less than 0.9% THC and more than 15% cannabidiol, which is to be provided by the Medical University of South Carolina in a study to determine the effects of CBD on controlling seizures.
On May 16, 2014, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 2531 into law. The bill allows the use of cannabis oil containing cannabidiol (CBD) that has less than 0.9% THC "as part of a clinical research study on the treatment of intractable seizures when supervised by a physician practicing at... a university having a college or school of medicine." The study is authorized for four years.
On May 5, 2015, Governor Haslam signed SB 280 into law. The bill allows the use of CBD oil that is less than 0.9% THC and that is "obtained legally in the United States and outside of" Tennessee. The bill went into effect immediately.
On June 1, 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 339 , which allows the use of cannabis oil that is no more than 0.5% THC and at least 10% CBD for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. The bill requires patients to get approval from two certified specialists.
Governor Abbot stated: "There is currently no cure for intractable epilepsy and many patients have had little to no success with currently approved drugs. However, we have seen promising results from CBD oil testing and with the passage of this legislation, there is now hope for thousands of families who deal with the effects of intractable epilepsy every day."
On Mar. 21, 2014, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 105 , known as "Charlee's Law," which allows the use and possession of marijuana extract, under certain conditions, by people with intractable epilepsy who have a statement signed by a neurologist. The extract must be composed of less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and at least 15% cannabidiol (CBD) by weight, and may not contain any other psychoactive substance. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2014. The extract must be obtained in a sealed container from a laboratory that is licensed in the state where it was produced, with a label stating the extract's ingredients and origin, and transmitted by the laboratory to the Utah Department of Health. The Utah Department of Health is required to determine the details of the registration program.
Kristen Stewart of the Salt Lake Tribune wrote in her article "Utah Families Celebrate Passage of Cannabis 'Charlee's Law,'" dated Mar. 25, 2014:
"HB105 gives Utahns with epilepsy trial access to a non-intoxicating, seizure-stopping cannabis oil. But it doesn't take effect until July 1, 2014, and until then, Utahns can't legally possess cannabis oil.
And obtaining it after that date will still risk violating federal law — and require jumping through a set of still-vaguely defined hoops.
Currently, patients will need to travel to states where medical marijuana is legal and import cannabis oil themselves. Doing so remains technically a violation of federal law."
On Feb. 26, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed HB 1445 into law. The bill stated: "In any prosecution... involving marijuana in the form of cannabidiol oil... it shall be an affirmative defense that the individual possessed such oil pursuant to a valid written certification... for treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of... intractable epilepsy." The oil must contain at least 15% CBD and no more than 5% THC.
A Feb. 26, 2015 quote from Gov. McAuliffe posted on his Facebook page stated: "The whole reason I got into politics was to bring about a positive impact in the lives of families across the Commonwealth. This piece of legislation is a tremendous step forward."
On Apr. 16, 2014, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed AB 726 , which states that "any physician may provide an individual with a hard copy of a letter or other official documentation stating that the individual possesses cannabidiol to treat a seizure disorder if the cannabidiol is in a form without a psychoactive effect." A release from the Governor's office characterizes the law as "clearing the way for a new treatment for children suffering from seizure disorders, pending FDA approval."