7/31/2020 – We have received a number of questions recently about who is allowed to sell hemp and hemp-derived products such as CBD. A few of the questions were about whether it is legal to sell them at farmers’ markets, while others were about retail stores.
The short answer
Anyone can sell CBD products. There is no specific license or permit required to sell CBD, and no law that specifically states who may sell these products.
Note: all applicable local, state and federal laws still apply, such as any relevant zoning regulations, THC must be .3% or less, etc.
The longer answer
At the federal level, the FDA has authority to regulate food or other products that fall within their jurisdiction under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). FDA has stated that it has authority to regulate food products and dietary supplements that contain CBD, as well as other products that contain CBD that make health claims. Under the FD&C Act the agency has authority to prohibit false or misleading labels on CBD products, and has sent warning letters to businesses found to be in violation. However, the agency has not yet published regulations specifically related to CBD.
The FDA announced in April 2019 that it recognized the need to create regulations for products made from CBD and in March of this year released an initial report to Congress. Most recently, the agency submitted a draft “Cannabidiol Enforcement Policy” to the Office of Management and Budget for review. Although the language in this draft policy has not yet been made public, this may be an indication that the agency is closer to releasing draft regulations.
Within NC, the NCDA&CS has regulatory authority over food and food products, similar to the FDA. Similar to FDA, there are no specific regulations pertaining to the processing or retail sale of CBD at this time, although it’s possible this could happen in the future. It is possible that NCDA will adopt regulations that are similar to FDA’s when the federal agency does publish them.
For now, there are no specific legal restrictions on who may sell CBD. That said, there may be restrictions imposed by private entities. For example, if you want to sell CBD at a farmers’ market, check with the market itself to see if it is permitted.
In addition, CBD is not permitted in food or dietary supplements, and product labels may not contain false or misleading information.
If you want to sell CBD, it will be important to stay updated as new regulations are issued.