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Is CBD Oil Legal in Wyoming? What You Should Know



Wyoming is the state with probably the most conservative marijuana laws in the U.S. Even just getting caught while under its influence could mean jail time of six months or up to $750 in penalties. Yet many shops across the state sell products containing a marijuana or cannabis derivative—cannabidiol (CBD). So, is CBD oil legal in Wyoming? That's not a question with a one-word answer. [1]

RELATED: Is CBD Hemp Oil Legal in All 50 States?

What Is Happening Regarding CBD Law in Wyoming?

Currently, Wyoming's legal processes regarding CBD sound like a political suspense movie—plenty of bigwig fighting, killing off of bills, waiting in suspense to see if the new one will survive, with ordinary folks ranting and raving in despair.

And state residents keep asking: is CBD oil legal in Wyoming?

The state residents keep asking: is CBD oil legal in Wyoming?

It is indeed very perplexing why Wyoming or any other state in the U.S. would still drag their feet to render CBD legal, especially hemp-CBD—the compound is not mind-altering, nor is it harmful or habit-forming. This is a medically proven fact.

Even the national government sanctions industrial hemp and derived products, since December last year, with the much-discussed amended Farm Bill and its Hemp Act.

As usual, the most vulnerable suffer from this weird passivity. Especially those who need CBD for medical reasons are urgently lobbying for more permissive state laws to buy their medicine.

Nina Hebert, an epilepsy patient, still battles to find CBD oil for her debilitating health condition. She used to suffer many seizures per day, which were eventually brought down to only seven per week—on CBD and other anti-seizure medication. The natural hemp extract also saves her organs from the severe side effects of mainstream drugs.

RELATED: What is CBD Good For Anyway?

So, cannabidiol is a necessity for her.

Yet due to legal restrictions, Nina has to resort to arduous and expensive trips across the border to Colorado, where marijuana possession is completely permitted by law. Her battle is real, and she cannot understand why the process to procure a life-saving herbal medicine is so problematic in Wyoming.

(Buying online is an option, but risky. Products are expensive and still not quality-controlled.)

It is very perplexing why Wyoming would drag its feet to render CBD legal.

 Nina is very confused by current Wyoming lawmakers' thinking. As she told the Star Tribune during a recent interview:

I am not a stoner. I am not running off to get high. My kids have not even had a cavity until this year. I am a successful and educated person, living a successful life with a number of things showing that I am not looking to run off, get high and eat pizza. I have a chronic disease literally taking things from me, and I have to get someone to drive me all the way across the border to get the help I need.” [2]

RELATED: Why Are People Using CBD Oil For Epilepsy?

There could be light at the end of this tunnel, because the aforementioned federal Farm Bill of 2018 may be changing things for Wyomingites too (whom, polls show, vote overwhelmingly in favor of medical marijuana).

But to first unpack the law and then look at the most recent legal developments...

What the Wyoming Law Says about CBD Oil

Very simply put, current law, including medical cannabidiol House Bill 32 passed in 2015, dictates the following: [3]

1. Pure hemp-derived CBD products are legal (due to a loophole in another law, not under discussion here), but even hemp-CBD oil can and does cause trouble with law enforcement in some counties. As noted by exasperated Teton County Deputy Prosecutor, Clark Allan, during an interview with Wyoming Public Media:
You get a little of THC in oil and that’s a felony. Yet, you can have a whole bunch of gummies that are loaded heavy with THC and they fall under a loophole in the law.” [4]

2. The law does allow possession of medicinal CBD oil with less than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, but only for patients with intractable epilepsy and seizure disorders. To legally possess their cannabidiol medication, they need to have a Hemp Extract Registration card.

3. According to Americans For Safe Access, registering to get a card involves this:
"Registering under HB 32 requires that a patient complete an application and the patient's neurologist complete two additional forms. A patient must also submit proof of residency and a $150 application fee. After processing by the Department of Health the patient will be issued a Hemp Extract Registration card." Currently, only a few such patients have active cards in the state. [5]

4. The law does not make any provision for cultivation, production, or distribution of cannabis and related products. For this reason, patients such as Nina are forced to leave the state to legally acquire their medicine.

5. Minors can use medical cannabis/CBD oil, but only parents or legal guardians can administer it.

6. The oil is not allowed to contain less than 5 percent CBD and more than 0.03 percent THC.

7. Some patients using some products with high CBD content are protected under this law.

As noted earlier—recent developments indicate that this drama could well be nearing a critical climax, which could bode well for all Wyomingites.

The Farm Bill of 2018 and Hemp Law

The Farm Bill of 2018 and Hemp Law

Industrial hemp and its derivatives are now completely legal in the U.S., albeit with certain provisions. It has been removed from the DEA's list of prohibited substances, where most feel it never belonged in the first place. This is because industrial hemp, as defined by U.S. law, is a form of cannabis that contains nothing mind-altering or addictive.

Its flowers and leaves contain mostly CBD and only a tiny bit of THC. This is important for Wyoming, where things do seem to be on the move—albeit slowly.

Enter House Bill 171...

In mid-January, a CBD-decriminalization House Bill 100, sponsored by Rep. Stan Blake, was killed in its tracks when it was voted out by a judiciary House committee. Blake's one-page bill attempted to open the legal doors for all adults, including parents and guardians of minors, to have free access to hemp extract.

The judiciary committee cited numerous concerns for killing it, which appeared to be based—at least in part—on typically conservative, uninformed thinking.

But not all was lost, because a few days later, a new player entered: House Bill 171... [6]

The federal Hemp Act was passed last year.

The bill was sponsored and introduced by Republican Bunky Loucks, who took pains to explain to the Agriculture House Committee that hemp is not marijuana.

“It has nothing to do with it. It. Won’t. Get. You. High,” he reportedly emphasized. [7]

HB-171 is more aligned with the mentioned federal Hemp Act passed last year. It further differs from the kaput HB-100 in that it is a lot more detailed, dealing with everything from licensing requirements to cultivation and law enforcement.

Importantly, it also suggests regulations to test for THC in all CBD oils, a fact which apparently makes "all the difference" for certain concerned House constituents. According to reports, Doug Miyamoto boldly convinced the House Agriculture Committee to ask for $200,000 in the bill’s budget for testing equipment for this purpose specifically. Miyamoto is Director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. [7]

Also, the word "cannabidiol" was removed from HB-171's title—so as to avoid possible confusion with marijuana. Perhaps this will help to convince the House Committee to pass it. So that "Is CBD oil legal in Wyoming?" can soon be the moot question it deserves to be.

Sources:

  1. https://norml.org/laws/item/wyoming-penalties-2
  2. https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-legislative-committee-kills-bill-to-decriminalize-cbd/article_38f57c48-412f-5ac7-a884-9d606a33f260.html
  3. https://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/sourcefiles/wyoming-hb32.pdf
  4. https://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/cbd-oil-charge-dismissed#stream/0
  5. https://www.safeaccessnow.org/wyoming_legal_information
  6. https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0171
  7. https://betterwyo.org/2019/01/25/house-committee-approves-bill-legalize-cbd-spur-wyoming-hemp-farming/

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