Let’s face it: laws surrounding CBD aren’t nearly as clear as they should be, including legislation about sending products like CBD gummies in the mail. 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.
Can CBD Gummies Be Mailed? – USPS, UPS, & FedEx Policies
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Let’s face it: laws surrounding CBD aren’t nearly as clear as they should be, including legislation about sending products like CBD gummies in the mail.
In most cases, mailing CBD gummies within the same state or across state lines is allowed, though it does depend on which mail service provider you decide to use. Mailing gummies internationally, though, or to states with limitations on marketing CBD as food can become problematic.
Within the past few years alone, many states have come under fire for attempts to limit CBD products or what types are allowed to be sold legally, and many more have adjusted their laws regarding hemp sale in general. Understanding when and where CBD tends to be illegal can help you avoid a lot of headaches, but it’s also important to take things on a case-by-case basis.
Can You Send CBD Gummies Through the Mail?
In most cases, you can indeed send CBD gummies through the mail, though it depends on the mailing service you’ll be using and where you’re sending them.
Because hemp and CBD products are federally legal in the United States, so too is purchasing and shipping these products across state lines.
When purchasing CBD gummies online, you shouldn’t have to worry about mailing – CBD sellers who do ship products can only do so through services that allow these products, and many handle shipping at least partially on their own.
If you’re looking to send gummies yourself, though, things can get a bit more tricky. Even after sending your gummies, it’s a good idea to keep ahold of any material that verifies the contents of your package (the container your gummies came in, for instance, or your product’s certificate of analysis).
This way, should any inquiry befall your package or its contents, you have all you need to verify that you’re shipping products that are legal. CBD products, including gummies, can be visually indistinguishable from THC or marijuana products (which are illegal federally), so it’s important to remember that you should always be able to prove what you have is allowed.
Here in the United States, there are three major mailing services to be familiar with, and each has slightly different language regarding its stance on cannabis products (including CBD).
Be sure to refresh yourself on these policies anytime you’re looking to ship CBD products, and as discussed above, be sure you keep any documentation you might need.
United States Postal Service (USPS)
The USPS does allow hemp products and CBD products to be shipped so long as the products comply with legal limits and restrictions, namely those that limit how much THC can be in a product.
Mailers are not required to provide the USPS with documentation proving the legitimacy of their products prior to shipping. Still, these resources should be available to the mailer if necessary.
In the past, mailing hemp and CBD through the USPS was fairly limited. Luckily, the 2018 Farm Bill made significant strides toward clearer language about who can produce, sell, and own hemp.
These more detailed policies have led many organizations, including the USPS, to begin allowing these products to enter the mailing system.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
The UPS accepts products derived from hemp, not marijuana, so long as they comply with state and federal laws. That means that gummies that fall below the legal limit for THC (0.3% or less by weight) shouldn’t pose any sort of issues for shipping.
As is the case for the USPS, mailers looking to ship CBD gummies or other products through the UPS are responsible for keeping track of any information that’s needed to prove the legality of their product.
Additionally, the UPS takes a strict stance against accepting hemp or CBD products from locations that sell marijuana. Even if these CBD products comply with legal restrictions, the UPS will not pick them up or ship them out.
Likewise, CBD products that come from marijuana plants rather than hemp plants aren’t allowed, even if these products are low in THC.
Stick to hemp and only hemp, and you should be just fine.
FedEx is one of the few major mailing services that flat-out prohibits the shipment of hemp and CBD products. Even CBD products that are legal to purchase commercially apply.
The company’s policies ban both marijuana products and products containing CBD, even if the latter is legally purchased. Those who do choose to try to use FedEx to ship CBD products may be subject to both monetary and legal trouble.
Whether or not FedEx will update its policy on CBD to match other major mailing services is currently unclear. For the time being, though, try to stick to those listed above.
Can CBD Gummies Be Shipped Across State Lines?
In the vast majority of cases, it’s legal to ship CBD gummies (and other CBD products, for that matter) across state lines. However, some states limit what sorts of CBD products are allowed to be sold and consumed, so it’s always a good idea to check in with your area’s specific legislation.
Most states revert directly to federal guidelines for CBD products, meaning that if it’s legal on the federal level and based on federal regulations, it’s legal within the state, too.
Some states, though, have enforced stricter language regarding what types of products are allowed and what levels of THC may be present, if any at all.
They may disallow manufacturers from labelling CBD products as food, for instance, which can be problematic when working with edible products like gummies.
To summarize, it’s usually safe to ship CBD gummies across state lines, mainly because hemp-derived CBD is legal at the federal level. As long as you comply with your mailing service’s rules about shipping, you shouldn’t run into any issues.
Still, in the case of edibles like gummies, it’s a good idea to look into laws for both your state and the state you’re shipping to so you can familiarize yourself with any relevant restrictions.
Because state laws are always changing and evolving, staying informed often falls into the hands of CBD consumers and users.
Can You Ship CBD Gummies Internationally?
Shipping CBD gummies internationally may be possible in some cases, but for the most part, it’s something to steer clear of. Most other countries don’t allow cannabis products to be sold commercially, not even hemp-derived CBD products, and these laws apply to products coming into the area, too.
Some nations have more lenient stances when it comes to the world of CBD, but many still have quite a ways to go. If you’re really curious or committed to the idea of shipping your product, you’ll need to get an idea of what the laws are like at your destination.
Even if CBD is legal at your destination, you may run into issues working with international mailing services, many of whom don’t allow these sorts of products to be sent.
As disappointing as it may be, the reality is that it’s currently pretty difficult to do much of anything with CBD products across international borders.
But if you decide to take the risk and ship internationally, it’s best to avoid full spectrum gummies entirely, because typically THC is regulated far more closely than CBD.
For example, most European countries have a legal THC limit of 0.2%, whereas in the US that limit is 0.3%. So, if you buy full spectrum CBD gummies in the US then ship them to Europe, you run into issues for importing a controlled substance, even though that substance was perfectly legal where you bought it. Stick to broad-spectrum or CBD isolate gummies to avoid THC altogether and minimize potential problems with law enforcement.
Is it Legal to Order CBD Gummies Online?
Yes, it is legal to order CBD gummies online as long as the area you live in allows the purchase and use of CBD products.
If you live in the United States, federal law allows you to purchase the products on the internet. State laws may limit what options are available to you, but hemp-derived products shouldn’t pose any problems for you.
The web is actually one of the easiest ways to find products that work for you and fit your budget, so don’t be afraid to peruse all there is to offer!
Where to Buy CBD Gummies Online
You can purchase CBD gummies directly from brand or seller websites or through third-party sellers, but the former is usually better. Buying directly from a seller helps ensure you get the best price possible and receive the genuine, high-quality products you want.
Our personal favorite option for CBD gummies is CBDistillery. The brand’s gummies combine flavor with efficacy and deliver surprisingly strong effects without overwhelming the user.
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.
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.