If you're a medical professional who uses CBD oil for anxiety, back pain or sleeping, you may run into trouble with your employer, the DOH, and your license Interested in current laws, and/or where to buy CBD oil in Florida? We've got you covered with the most current, up-to-date information.
CBD Is Now Officially Legal In Florida, But What Does This Mean For Medical Licenses?
How rapidly is the hemp-derived CBD market growing? According to recent market research studies, it’s expected to reach $22 billion by the year 2022.
Despite this, legislature has been slow in regulating the industry — in turn, breeding both confusion among law enforcement and inconsistent treatment for CBD users across the state of Florida.
Sara Bazzigaluppi, a Florida healthcare attorney with Champan Law Group, has handled CBD cases before the Department of Health. Some of these cases were dismissed, while others were formally charged.
But with recent legislative action, we finally have some clarity.
Senate Bill 1020 Passed Unanimously
Florida recently passed Senate Bill 1020, which purports to create a state hemp program. According to the bill’s transcript, “The state hemp program is created within the department to regulate the cultivation of hemp in the state.”
The law took effect July 1, 2019, and since then, hemp (and its derivatives) are no longer considered a controlled substance under Florida law.
Hemp Was Legalized Under Federal Law In 2018
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was passed into law December 20, 2018. This measure implemented changes to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, federally recognizing hemp and hemp-derivative products — including THC originating from hemp — as legal.
How Does This Relate To CBD?
SB 1020 helps clarify the status of CBD because it clarifies the status of hemp and hemp-derivatives in the state. While federal law legalized hemp last year, until recently the legal status of hemp under Florida state law was arguable.
Now, with SB 1020 “[h]emp is an agricultural commodity. Hemp-derived cannabinoids, including, but not limited to, cannabidiol, are not controlled substances or adulterants.” (Please note that the law specifies that hemp means the plant Cannabis sativa L. “that has a total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis.”)
CBD is a cannabinoid compound extracted from the flowers and buds of the hemp plant. Therefore, under this language, CBD derived from hemp is officially legal in Florida.
A Few Things to Consider
Under SB 1020, “hemp extracts” (for example, CBD oil) are substances derived from or contain hemp and do not contain other controlled substances.
Therefore, while CBD is legal, those who make use of it must take caution and be sure to purchase from a reputable supplier.
Hemp also contains THC, and any product with concentrations of THC that are higher than 0.3% will not be covered by SB 1020 or the federal act.
This is because products with concentrations of THC that are higher than 0.3% fall outside of the definition of “hemp” and are therefore considered a controlled substance under both federal and state law.
How Does This Affect Current Drug Testing For THC?
The normal workplace procedures regarding drug testing involve a urine sample. However, we have found that urine screenings are not effective at detecting the use of marijuana.
These urine screenings focus on the detection of THCA, which is the primary metabolic product of THC in urine. However, most of the antibodies the body produces to react with THCA will cross-react with CBD.
The upshot? Individuals who use products containing CBD can test positive for alleged marijuana use.
How Does This Affect Licensees?
If you make use of CBD oil for anxiety, back pain, or as a sleep-aid, you may run into troubles with your employer and with the DOH.
If you test positive for THC because of your CBD use, the DOH will open an investigation against you. You might even be asked to refer to an impaired practitioner program like IPN or PRN.
While it may seem logical that making use of a completely legal product such as CBD should not result in the referral to a drug treatment program, this is not the reality. Under Florida law, you cannot test positive for a “drug” as defined by the “Drug Free Workplace Act.” Under the Act, cannabinoids are still considered a drug, therefore CBD is considered a drug and cannot be used.
There is clearly an argument to be made as to the intent behind the Act, and whether the Legislature truly meant to punish those making use of non-psychoactive drugs. But this issue of interpretation has yet to be addressed formally.
Consequently, both sides are open to argue their positions: whether the Act encompasses all cannabinoids. And what the Florida Board of Medicine, Florida Board of Nursing, or any other state board will decide remains to be seen.
It may seem unfair that loyal employees are being terminated and reported to the Department, but employers are required by law to report a practitioner if impairment is suspected.
In fact, if a licensed health care practitioner knows that a person is unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety due to an impairment, that practitioner is obligated to report such impairment to the Department or the proper impaired practitioner program.
For Licensing and Regulatory Matters, the Florida Healthcare Attorneys at Chapman Law Group Are Here for You
Failure to report can result in discipline. This puts employers and co-workers in a difficult situation. We at Chapman Law Group get phone calls almost daily from people who are referred to these programs for a positive test, even though the veracity of the results is questioned. If you find yourself in such a position, contact the Florida health care attorneys at Chapman Law Group.
We represent healthcare practitioners and practices throughout Florida — from Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale, to Orlando, Gainesville, West Palm Beach, and Coral Gables. Our offices are in Miami and Sarasota.
CBD Oil in Florida: Things to Know
The United States is undergoing an exciting transition regarding cannabis and CBD. While marijuana is fuelling hot debates about legalization and use, hemp has experienced an excellent evolution into legality.
Its long-awaited legalization finally took place when former President Trump signed the U.S. Farm Bill into law back in November 2018. Part of this bill (the Hemp Farming Act) legalized industrial hemp by isolating it as a distinct species compared to marijuana. Thus, hemp is no longer on the DEA’s list of illegal Schedule I substances, and hemp cultivation is now permitted (with proper licensing). And, more importantly, hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD are also legal on a federal level.
Formerly, CBD occupied a legal gray area that left many people outright confused. The Farm Bill has clarified most of this, but certain “inconsistencies” still remain among various states – particularly those with active medical marijuana (MMJ) policies.
In Florida, CBD is permitted, but with some caveats. The CBD landscape is questionable, and unfortunately, many brands are still offering defective products. For this reason, it’s vital to shop with a reputable, high-quality brand like Premium Jane.
Understanding the Difference Between Marijuana and CBD Oil in Florida
In a nutshell, individual states still have the right to develop their own laws. Some states with MMJ programs mandate that all cannabis products be sold and distributed in state-licensed dispensaries. This maximizes state tax revenue brought in by legal cannabis sales. And of course, it also means that state residents are discouraged from ordering CBD online from other states.
There is currently an active medical marijuana program in Florida, but legislators have been pretty lenient with “non-dispensary” stores. As a result, it’s easy to buy CBD in Florida from a qualified online retailer. (Believe it or not, the quality and range of options tend to be much higher online).
The Shifting Attitude Toward CBD in Florida
Historically, Florida has not been a very cannabis-friendly state. As is the case with the rest of the country, hemp was illegal there for decades. In 2014, however, a few things changed. One occurrence involved CBD, and the other was related to medical cannabis.
In 2016, Amendment 2 was introduced to the state legislature and passed with 71.3% of the vote. This Amendment legalized medical cannabis in Florida, and qualifying conditions for those over the age of 21 included the likes of cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, and more. Potential patients however must visit a licensed doctor to receive approval before they can get an MMJ card, which is of course expensive.
That said, the change in law has led to a gradual shift with regards to cannabis use, and now there is a push to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida. Several petitions have done the rounds suggesting that state residents may be in favor of full legalization.
But what does all this information mean for CBD oil in Florida?
Is CBD Legal in Florida?
On March 20, 2014, the Florida House of Representatives passed a measure that was implemented to stop the prosecution of those in possession of “low-THC CBD oil.” These oils are defined as containing less than 0.5% THC and more than 15% CBD. However, this was only intended to prevent the prosecution of those suffering from seizures – just a tiny fraction of CBD users in Florida.
Then, the Farm Bill came along and made hemp-based CBD products federally legal. This is where things get confusing in terms of Florida’s CBD laws.
Generally, Florida laws prior to the Farm Bill did little to differentiate between marijuana and hemp. In other words, CBD was illegal in the same way as marijuana. The Florida Department of Agriculture even outwardly said that it was unlawful to sell CBD products in the state. That said, law enforcement was largely hands-off when it came to CBD.
But what about now? Is CBD oil legal in Florida?
A Shifting Stance
For a while, CBD remained in a bit of a no-man’s land. There was no official legislation in place to say what was legal, and what was not. However, the Department of Agriculture pushed for regulations that were on par with the federal government’s stance on hemp.
A few years ago, a great-grandmother was arrested for possession of CBD at Disney World, placing things on the “utterly ridiculous” side in terms of the legal confusion scale. She was released just hours later, but most people still wish to avoid jail time, even for a few hours. Does this risk still remain if you buy CBD oil in Florida?
It’s highly unlikely. A couple of years ago, the regulations in Florida were brought in line with the government’s 2018 Farm Bill. As a result, hemp plants and the CBD derived from them are now permitted in Florida.
Hundreds of bottles of CBD oil are sold in Florida each day – both online and in-store, and there have been no more legal issues for compliant manufacturers and users. This is not to say that all compliant manufacturers live up to the same quality; CBD users need to choose a trustworthy brand that sells top-quality products, and this can require some research.
Where to Buy the Best CBD in Florida
There are several places to pick up CBD in physical storefronts throughout the Sunshine State. However, most users choose to order CBD online for a variety of reasons.
- You can view lab reports, determining the actual quality of any company. Reputable brands should always publish third-party lab tests to prove that their products contain the correct ingredients.
- It’s easy to read up on a brand on their official website, particularly if there is an ‘About Us’ section. This way, it’s simple to see where the brand grows hemp, what the extraction method is, and a wealth of other helpful information.
- Users can cross-reference customer reviews, making it easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. By reading third-party reviews, you can determine which brands are worth your money based on the opinions of other users.
It can nevertheless be time-consuming to shop online. Many brands ship to all 50 states, giving CBD users hundreds of options.
Make your shopping experience quicker by starting right here at Premium Jane. We strive to produce exceptional quality in everything we do, beginning with Farm Bill-compliant, organic hemp. Then, we use CO2 extraction – renowned as the best method on the market – to produce our proprietary full-spectrum hemp extract.
What’s more, we offer verified third-party lab reports on our CBD content and purity. You can view our lab sheets for each of our products in the Premium Jane online store.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Florida
In summary, CBD laws in Florida are likely to change fast. If you are interested in this market, there will probably be a lot to keep up with in the coming years! There is even a chance that full cannabis legalization will turn the market upside down, so keep your eyes peeled.
Although nobody knows how that will pan out, the CBD market in Florida is booming. Those seeking where to buy CBD oil in Florida are spoiled for choice. If you’re looking for one of the safest, cleanest, and most reliable CBD tinctures on the market, browse our range here at Premium Jane. We ship to Florida every day, and we would be happy to help you on your CBD journey.