Can You Mail CBD Oil

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Now that CBD is legal in all 50 states, shipping CBD products is the next frontier in fulfillment. Here's your guide to safely ship CBD. Not sure how to go about shipping your CBD product? We cover how to ship CBD oil in the US, internationally, the legalities, and tips for shipping your CBD product.

Your Guide to Shipping CBD Products

Cannabis has gone mainstream, and business is, to put it bluntly, booming. As of this writing, marijuana products are fully legal in 16 U.S. states, Washington D.C., Guam, and Canada. Cannabis is legal for medical use and/or decriminalized in another 24 states. Marijuana remains illegal in only six U.S. states.

Cannabidiol or CBD, which is derived from the cannabis plant, is legal at the federal level. CBD products that comply with federal regulations can be sold in the vast majority of U.S. states. The logistics of eCommerce fulfillment for CBD oil and other CBD products continue to get easier. Now is a great time to grow a CBD business.

Shipping CBD lets you reach consumers who live in states where CBD products are hard to find in stores. If you run an eCommerce business that sells CBD oil or other CBD products, your growth prospects are good. The industry is predicted to hit $22 billion in sales by 2022.

However, a few states continue to prohibit CBD sales, and a patchwork of other regulations and carrier restrictions across the US can make shipping CBD a challenge. For these reasons, as of this writing, Red Stag Fulfillment doesn’t accept CBD products, but we are constantly monitoring the legal landscape and always evaluating whether to serve this growing and exciting industry. Here is a summary of what we’ve learned so far.

What Is CBD?

CBD is present in both marijuana plants and hemp plants. Unlike THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties. THC is the part of the marijuana plant that causes intoxication.

According to its supporters, CBD has a long list of health benefits, including pain relief, reduced anxiety, and even curing acne. However, because there were strict federal limits on the use of marijuana and hemp plants for scientific study until a few years ago, the evidence for uses of CBD is still coming in. However, early studies have shown that it can help combat insomnia and reduce inflammation in a topical ointment.

The most successful pharmaceutical application of CBD is for the treatment of severe forms of childhood epilepsy. A cannabidiol-based anti-seizure medicine is the first cannabis medication to get FDA approval.

Can You Mail CBD Oil?

CBD oil has a broad range of applications beyond merely medicinal. Manufacturers are producing everything from CBD-infused soda to CBD massage oil to CBD gummy bears.

Here’s what you need to know to make sure that your CBD order fulfillment complies with federal law.

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018

Under the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, legal CBD is defined as cannabidiol derived from strains of hemp that have less than 0.3% THC.

HEMP.—The term ‘‘hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds there- of and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

– Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, Sec. 297A (1), as amended by the Hemp Farming Act of 2018

CBD can be extracted from plants that contain higher levels of THC. However, products using CBD made from marijuana rather than hemp can only be legally sold in some places. In states where medical or recreational cannabis is legal, CBD products are less regulated. If you are interested in shipping CBD products across state lines, you’ll need to use only CBD refined from low-THC hemp.

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One exception to the rule against shipping cannabis that contains significant levels of THC is farm feed made from the stalks or other parts of the plant. So, federal law allows cows to get high, just not humans.

Which Carriers Are Best for Shipping CBD?

In the states where marijuana is legal, you can sell a wide variety of CBD products in brick-and-mortar retail settings and cannabis delivery businesses deliver both CBD and THC products locally. This includes products that contain THC as well as CBD. However, if you are selling CBD online and shipping via carriers, you need to comply with carrier requirements and federal rules. You can’t mail a marijuana-derived product from Boulder to Denver, even though cannabis is legal throughout Colorado. You definitely can’t ship that product from Boulder to Boston. Sending CBD via one of the major carriers is highly regulated and even intrastate shipments are subject to carrier rules.

USPS CBD Mailing

In June 2019, USPS issued a revision to its Publication 52 to provide guidance on shipping CBD products through the mail. Federal regulations to implement the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 were released in March 2021, so look for a possible update to USPS policies to incorporate the federal rules.

For now, the USPS requires eCommerce businesses shipping CBD to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including but not limited to the THC caps and the licensed grower requirements. Your business must keep paperwork showing this compliance. Contrary to earlier guidance, you don’t have to include a statement of compliance inside each package you ship.

UPS and Shipping CBD

UPS guidelines clearly state that the carrier will not ship any marijuana products or even pick up CBD products from a business that sells marijuana products. However, UPS does ship CBD and other hemp products, as long as you comply with federal law. If you send any other marijuana products via UPS, the carrier may throw out your shipment.

If you run a business that sells marijuana products as well as federally-sanctioned CBD items, you can still ship your CBD products via UPS. Simply use a third-party logistics company. That way, UPS will pick up from the warehouse, rather than your business location.

FedEx CBD Restrictions

FedEx is the only major carrier that still won’t ship CBD products and includes CBD on its list of prohibited items. However, it makes two exceptions: farm feed that contains cannabis plant materials and synthetic cannabinoids.

Rules for Shipping CBD Across State Lines

In the past, shipping CBD across state lines, especially when shipments traveled through states where it’s not legal, was hazardous. The Canna Law blog reported on a shipment of industrial hemp that was seized in Idaho in 2019. The shipment originated in Oregon, where cannabis is legal, it met the federal definition of legal industrial hemp, and was on its way to a Colorado company that makes CBD products. Because Idaho had not legalized cannabis (and still hasn’t), state authorities refused to let the shipment pass.

That incident happened before the USDA issued federal regulations to detail how to implement the law Congress passed in 2018. The new rules, which became official on March 22, 2021, should make the safe passage of 0.3% CBD products in interstate commerce easier.

Tips for ECommerce Businesses to Ship CBD Products

Lawmakers have repeatedly introduced bills to make cannabis legal at the federal level. However, it may take a while before cannabis legalization goes national. Until then, it can be tricky to figure out how to stay on the right side of the laws around shipping CBD.

Here are some things you can do to protect your business while participating in the booming market for CBD products:

  • Know your suppliers. Make sure your suppliers have all relevant licenses for industrial hemp production. Obtain copies of their certifications and keep them in your files.
  • Get your CBD products tested. Periodic lab tests will ensure that the THC level in your CBD products is within legal limits.
    • If you’re considering selling food, drink, or supplements containing CBD, pay special attention to the FDA’s rules and regulations.

    Arm yourself with knowledge about cannabis law as it evolves. Don’t let worries about shipping CBD slow the growth of your business.

    More about shipping regulated items:

    The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice or professional opinions. If you are considering manufacturing, buying, shipping, storing, or selling CBD products, you should not rely on the above information, but instead must make your own judgments regarding the legality of your proposed actions. Red Stag Fulfillment, LLC disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this article. Contact a reputable attorney to obtain legal advice.

    CBD Oil Shipping Guide: How and Where Can You Legally Ship CBD?

    The popularity of CBD-based products has skyrocketed in the US in recent years. CBD has experienced a meteoric rise from a virtually unknown compound to rock-star status in the health and wellness market. That’s excellent news for those interested in starting a business selling CBD-based products. The global CBD market is valued at $2.8 billion. But one question that often comes up is the legality of shipping CBD in the US and abroad.

    In this post, we’ll explain how to ship CBD oil across state lines, the legality of shipping CBD-based products nationally and internationally, regulations for USPS and private shipping companies, and how to properly package products for mailing.

    Can You Mail CBD Oil Legally?

    The short answer is yes, provided your CBD products are hemp-based. It’s important to note that CBD can also be derived from the marijuana plant. Marijuana, the close cousin of the hemp plant, remains illegal at the federal level. Your CBD products also can’t contain more than 0.3% THC, the naturally occurring psychoactive compound found in both marijuana and hemp plants.

    The USPS has issued detailed guidance on how to legally mail hemp and hemp-based products. According to USPS regulations, CBD can be mailed provided the following two conditions are met:

    1. The mailer complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws (such as the Agricultural Act of 2014 and the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018) pertaining to hemp production, processing, distribution, and sales.
    1. The mailer retains records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than 2 years after the date of mailing.

    It’s unlikely you’ll be asked to present lab reports or any other documentation listed above to mail the products. But the regulations state you may be required to present them if there’s a question about the item’s mailability or the legality of the recipient to receive it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so keep these handy each time you’re preparing to ship a batch of orders.

    Can You Mail Hemp Legally?

    Some online retailers also sell raw hemp or other hemp-based products. It’s common for questions to arise about how to legally ship these products to consumers. Regulations regarding mailing raw hemp or other hemp-based products through the USPS are the same as those outlined above for CBD oils and other CBD-based products. Nothing in your order can exceed 0.3% THC, and you’ll need to be prepared with documentation to prove you’re operating legally. An example of documentation that may be requested would be third-party testing results verifying the products you’re shipping contain less than 0.3% THC.

    Shipping CBD or Hemp with UPS and FedEx

    Recent service delays with the USPS may have you considering using a private shipping service like UPS or FedEx to ensure on-time deliveries. It’s legal to ship CBD-based products like CBD oils, as well as hemp, provided your products have THC contents below 0.3% and have been derived from hemp plants and not their psychoactive relative, the marijuana plant.

    How to Package and Ship CBD Oil

    Getting CBD oil or other CBD-based products properly labeled and ready for shipping requires a little more prep work than your average online order. Here’s how to do it like a pro.

    1. Get your paperwork in order – Have the documentation showing your products are legally compliant ready to present if asked. This documentation includes those things listed in the USPS regulations noted earlier, as well as things like third-party lab results showing the product contains less than 0.3% THC.
    1. Prepare the products for shipping – If you’re shipping CBD oil, you’ll want to make sure it’s well-protected. Wrap the packaging in a thick layer of bubble wrap, and place it in a shipping box filled with packing peanuts. This setup will give it the best chance of arriving at its final destination undamaged. Good packaging is especially important if you’re shipping internationally.
    1. Drop the package off or schedule a pickup – Once your product is packaged up, just drop it off at your nearest post office or UPS/FedEx store. Alternately, you can schedule your courier of choice to pick it up at your home or business location.

    Can You Ship CBD Oil Internationally?

    CBD and other hemp-based products aren’t just popular in the United States; it’s an international trend. So can you mail CBD oil overseas? The answer to that depends on where it’s going. Some countries like Canada have stringent laws about selling CBD products from the US. Legally selling CBD products to Canadians requires a lengthy and complicated application process with Health Canada, their licensing agency. Unless you’re dead set on making inroads into the Canadian market, you’re likely to find the red tape outweighs any potential benefits.

    Other countries like the UK allow CBD products shipped from the US, provided the product complies with UK law and doesn’t contain more than 1 mg of THC, regardless of how large the container is. CBD products remain illegal in some countries, like the UAE and Malaysia.

    If you plan to sell CBD oil outside of the US, you must understand the regulations of the countries you’re shipping it to before you make the sale. Failing to properly understand what’s legal and what’s not in other countries has consequences ranging from a fine to jail time.

    Shipping CBD Requires Knowing and Following Regulations

    Selling CBD oils and other hemp-based products online can be a fun and profitable way to start an online business. But shipping CBD across state lines and internationally comes with some important caveats. Knowing and following the regulations for legally shipping CBD oil and other CBD-based products will help keep you on the right side of the law, saving time and money in potential legal headaches and ensuring your company prospers.

    We have helped many CBD companies create high-quality labels for their products. Our experts would be happy to talk to you and help you with your unique needs — whether that’s helping you decide on the right labels for your CBD products or talking over your packaging options as you’re getting started. Let’s connect.

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