Legal CBD Sources

At this point, when considering a cannabis product, regardless of how much THC it does or does not have in it, what matters is its source: does it come from marijuana (a cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC) or does it come from hemp (a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC)? From a federal perspective, here’s a guide for lawful sources of CBD:

  1. CBD derived from industrial hemp lawfully grown in the US (2014 Farm Act justifies this)
  2. CBD derived from anything that is not a scheduled drug (Controlled Substances Act justifies this)


Washington’s Uniformed Controlled Substances Act (WACSA) offers a very specific definition for marijuana: cannabis with more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. WACSA also defines cannabis health and beauty aids as those products made from cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC. WACSA also expressly states that such products that are made from cannabis but have less than 0.3% THC are not subject to the WACSA or the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s (WSLCB) regulations. There is no distinction here about the source or the product; the only thing that matters is how much THC is in it. This clarity prevents WSLCB from taking a similar approach to DEA (see previous post: A Confusing Path to Legal CBD).


A business properly licensed by the WSLCB can make CBD from a regular marijuana plant and sell it through Washington State’s traceability system to an WSLCB licensed marijuana retail store. That is lawful. But, extracting CBD from marijuana plants, whether it has any THC or not, will involve WSLCB oversight, which many clients find to be unreasonably burdensome.


CBD from industrial hemp does not require a Liquor and Cannabis Board Marijuana License


CBD that is derived from industrial hemp does not require licensing through the WSLCB. Industrial hemp flowers just like marijuana does and has the same extraction capabilities as marijuana, but it does not have THC so under the WACSA, the WSLCB does not have jurisdiction over its (industrial hemp’s) production.