Hemp flower is slowly but surely becoming mainstream in the Untied States.
This follows the introduction of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as the Farm Bill, which made hemp federally legal. Absurdly, hemp was previously lumped into the Controlled Substances Act for close to 50 years alongside hard drugs like heroin, LSD and amphetamine, as well as THC-rich cannabis, or ‘marijuana’.
Law-makers have now recognized that hemp has no potential for abuse and represents a major boost for the country’s flagging agricultural industry. They didn’t think people were going to start smoking hemp, however. You see, a demand for smokeable hemp flower (which can look and smell just like illegal THC-rich cannabis) has given rise to a new set of challenges for authorities.
In order to avoid confusion with psychoactive THC-rich cannabis, many states have expressed interest in banning smokable hemp flower, while some have gone further and actually enacted bans.
To help make sure your use of hemp is within the law, this article will explain what each state’s stance on smokable hemp flower currently is.
Before we dive into details, we would like to remind you that the best available high-CBD hemp flowers, are only available to the subscribers of the CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter. Subscribe below and get our weekly product recommendations, straight to your inbox, every Thursday morning.
The rise of smokable hemp flower
There’s been an explosion of CBD-containing products over the last few years. It’s in everything from coffee to intimate oils. This is largely thanks to its many purported health benefits. And while products made with CBD extracted from hemp flower are massively popular, some people prefer the unadulterated flower over a processed product.
That’s because once you have the raw, dried hemp flower, you can use it in a number of highly effective ways. You can vape it using a dry herb vape, make your own CBD oil or CBD edible, or, as is proving most popular, you can smoke it. Yep, you can grind it up, roll it up, burn and inhale just like the high-inducing THC-rich cannabis.
The only difference is that it won’t get you ‘high’ or ‘stoned’. Instead, the combination of CBD, terpenes (smelly plant compounds), and perhaps some minor cannabinoids will have you feeling relaxed, care-free, and soothed. That’s because CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic (anxiety reliever).
How do you buy hemp flower?
CBD flower can be purchased from vape shops, head shops, and a variety of online stores across the country. Many hemp farms also have their own online store, allowing them to sell their crop directly to the consumer rather than through a middle man.
Hemp flower is routinely sent through the mail in well-designed packaging that retains any suspicious odours and ensures the contents are undetectable. After all, hemp flower looks just like illegal cannabis.
The 2018 hemp bill explained
The 2018 Farm Bill included the Hemp Farming Act., which removed cannabis with less than 0.3% THC from the Controlled Substances Act. Following its passing, the act allows hemp farmers to have access to the national banking system, crop insurance, water rights and federal agricultural grants.
While the new provisions also allow states to adopt their own regulations for hemp, no state can prohibit the transport of hemp across its borders, provided the hemp was lawfully produced.
What states have banned smokeable hemp flower?
While hemp is now federally legal, it hasn’t stopped a small number of states from trying to prohibit smokeable hemp flower. Just as states can legalize cannabis should they wish, they can also legally ban the sale and possession of hemp flower. However, thanks to the Farm Bill, they can’t prohibit the transportation of it.
What follows is a list of states that have brought in some sort of ban. All other states allow smokeable hemp flower.
- Kentucky – prohibits the sale of smokeable hemp and licence needed for possession.
- Virginia – licence needed.
- South Carolina – can’t possesses without a license.
- Massachusetts – prohibits the sale of unprocessed or raw plant material.
- South Dakota – hemp illegal in all forms.
- Louisiana – banned by the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control in Louisiana, possibly overstepping their jurisdiction.
- Idaho – illegal in all forms.
- Mississippi – illegal in all forms.
- Texas – smokable flower banned.
- New Hampshire – all forms illegal.
- North Carolina – proposed to reschedule smokeable hemp flower as marijuana in late 2020, but that seems to have been thwarted.
- Indiana – banned smokeable hemp legislatively Recent preliminary injunction orders the state not to enforce the law however.
Please note that not all these bans are actively being enforced and sales often continue despite them. Additionally, most online stores will ship to all 50 states, citing the 2018 Farm Bill as proof of legality.
Is hemp flower being suppressed?
Just as hemp gains acceptance federally, it seems a number of states have stepped up their efforts to keep it from flourishing within their borders. Is this because of a concerted effort to keep a highly therapeutic natural product from the people?
Maybe, but it’s more likely that the answer is rooted in old-school perceptions of cannabis among law-makers. That and the fact that hemp flower looks just like illegal THC-containing cannabis, which will make enforcing cannabis laws very difficult.
Is hemp flower legal in the rest of the world?
Alongside its booming popularity in the U.S, smokeable CBD flower is also exploding in the UK and mainland Europe. In fact, Switzerland has been the leader of the industry for almost three years now thanks to a law that allows the production and sale of cannabis with less than 1% THC.
A lot of CBD-rich hemp flower is also being grown in Italy, where they have a 0.6% THC limit. France, Austria, Belgium, as well as a number of Eastern European countries, are also seeing sizable markets established. Most have a THC limit of 0.2%.
The future of hemp flower
The U.S. hemp industry has been unfairly held back for almost five decades. Now that it’s federally legal, expect the industry to blossom. In fact, thanks to its versatility coupled with the already waning tobacco and dairy industries, it cannot be overstated how important this plant could be for the U.S. in the coming years.
A large part of the demand for hemp will be driven by the massive interest in CBD – it’s already more popular than vitamin C and vitamin D supplements. And, as one of the most effective CBD products (and the least processed), hemp flower will represent a big chunk of the market.
Therefore, expect hemp flower to catch on and bloom into a massive industry of its own. Expect strains to improve and variety to increase. The bottom line; expect big things for hemp flower in the near future.
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