The CBD market is booming. It is arguable that it is the fastest growing product in the United States with an estimated one quarter of Americans having already tried it. For many, this means that the question on shipping CBD oil will arise, either to send it to a friend or as a potential business opportunity.
Shipping CBD Oil is legal in the United States if you follow strict guidelines. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the growth and manufacturer of hemp products. Hemp is a special strain of the cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC in it.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the component in cannabis that is responsible for the high that is associated with the plant. By limited the THC content of a cannabis plant, you can receive the health benefits cannabis offers safely.
Each state still has it’s own laws to govern CBD products, with some having a zero tolerance policy for THC content, many follow the hemp guidelines of 0.3% or less, and some have medical cards allowing high THC content products to be sold to individuals who qualify for these cards.
This means Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate products are all legal to ship as long as they were made from a hemp plant.
In this article we’ll dive into the factors that make CBD safe and legal to ship, how to ship it yourself, the carriers that accept CBD shipments, and briefly touch on shipping CBD oil internationally.
Please Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. We recommend you consult professionals in those fields for further advice
Is Shipping CBD Oil Legal?
As we said above, it is legal to ship CBD oil in the United States as long as it meets certain requirements.
If you are considering starting a CBD e-commerce business, then choosing the product to sell can be extremely important and these requirements are a large part of the decision-making process.
Not only do you want to back a trusted brand, but by following these guidelines you will keep yourself out of trouble with authorities that might hamper or close your business operations.
Here are three regulations that are monitored when CBD oil is shipped.
Origin of Plant and THC content
Growers in the United States are very heavily regulated still, even after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp. This is because strains of cannabis other than hemp are still illegal, and growers need to follow strict growing procedures to follow federal law.
Hemp has less than 0.3% THC content. A reputable grower and manufacturer will be able to prove that the THC content does not exceed these limitations, which allows them ship it nationwide.
Product of a Licensed Grower
Each state has its own regulations and laws concerning the growing and manufacturer of the hemp plant and CBD products. Make sure that you are working with an approved vendor to avoid any problems with your supply or products not arriving.
3rd Party Lab Tests
Manufacturers will test their own products for the THC/CBD ratio and overall quantity of both, but you should still work with a brand that has 3rd party lab reports to verify. This is not a legal requirement, but a best practice to guarantee quality.
Can you Ship CBD yourself?
If you are shipping CBD yourself, you will want to follow all of the same guidelines that we listed above. That means you’ll want to verify the manufacturer is following all the rules they need and are licensed.
In addition, you will need to follow any requirements that your shipping company has in place.
Best Carriers to Ship CBD with
Even though it is now legal to ship CBD Oil nationwide, carriers still have fairly strict guidelines for shipping CBD products and each carrier is fairly different.
According to the March 2019 updates to USPS guidelines for CBD products, the following guidelines must be followed:
- A signed self-certification statement, subject to the False Statements Act. Statements must be printed on the mailer’s own letterhead, must be signed by the mailer, and must include the text “I certify that all information furnished in this letter and supporting documents are accurate, truthful, and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information or omits information relating to this certification may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties, including fines or imprisonment.”
- The industrial hemp producer possesses a license issued by the Department of Agriculture, for the state where the post office/acceptance unit is located, which includes documentation identifying the producer by name and showing the mailer is authorized by the registered producer to market products manufactured by that producer.
- The industrial hemp, or products produced from industrial hemp, contains a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
The documentation mentioned, along with 3rd party lab tests verifying the percentage of THC in the product, should be mailed with the packages to ensure it is not held up, put aside, or seized before it reaches its destination.
DHL works closely with many eCommerce companies and has outlined these guidelines for shipping hemp-derived products:
- The shipment contains hemp or hemp-based products that contain 0.3% or less of THC on a dry weight basis.
- The shipper complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
- The shipper retains records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test
results, licenses, or compliance reports.
- Packaging does not contain any branding, or labeling that indicates the content of the item.
While DHL does not force shippers to have the documentation with the product at time of shipping, it should be available as it may be requested at any time.
FedEx is the only major carrier that doesn’t have specific rules for how to ship CBD products with them. In fact, no hemp based products are allowed to be shipped with FedEx according to their 2019 Service Guide.
At this time we recommend you avoid FedEx for this reason.
UPS also has fairly strict rules for shipping hemp-derived products including stating and documenting where your raw materials came from, details on the manufacturing process, and verification for both the shipper and the customer address.
You can read the full details on the UPS website help center.
Shipping CBD Oil Internationally
Shipping CBD Oil in the United States is actually the easy part. Shipping internationally brings in a lot more rules and regulations.
Each country governs the usage of CBD products differently. You will need to look into the rules and laws for exporting CBD products to other nations on a case by case basis to make sure there will be no issues getting the CBD there.
As we said in the introduction, the CBD industry is growing extremely fast and the laws governing it are constantly changing. While it’s legal to ship hemp-derived products in the United States, you still we need to be careful to follow the rules each carrier has set forth and stay up to date with any changing laws.