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Laws On The Books for CBD Oil in Alaska

Laws On The Books for CBD Oil in Alaska

In Alaska, CBD oil sales and possession are still, some feel, legally on shifting grounds. The state seems to be in the throes of some confusion despite federal law having taken huge strides recently.

If prospective CBD vendors feel rudderless regarding selling their products, they're not alone. The laws themselves are not in flux, but enactment and implementation definitely are. There's no saying what will happen if a CBD seller chooses to take the leap and go public at this point. Yet a strong indicator could perhaps be the lot that befell a daring CBD vendor in Anchorage.

Uncle LeRoy’s Coffee in Anchorage’s Spenard neighborhood used to serve a hugely popular espresso made with almond milk, vanilla, agave, and a dropper full of CBD. Poured over ice, this house drink soon became a customer favorite.

In Alaska, CBD oil sales and possession are still, some feel, legally on shifting grounds.

However, the latest on Uncle LeRoy's delectable CBD drinks is that they were scrapped from the menu. The state sent an email to one of the shop owners, stating that the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation regulators have yet to approve selling CBD in foodstuffs and the like.

Not all sellers are intimidated, though.

Irie Co. is a food and drink stand owned by Marie Gaze. Situated at the corner of L Street and Seventh Avenue in downtown Anchorage, she serves smoothies, coffee, and food containing CBD.

In August, the Anchorage municipality asked Gaze to "hold off" on selling cannabidiol products, but she ignored the admonition. Defiantly, she still advertises and sells CBD-infused drinks.

Said Gaze to the Anchorage Daily News recently: "They’re trying to do their job, and I have respect for that. But there’s also a sense of fighting for your rights. And that has been something that has been prevalent in the cannabis community forever." [1]

What Does the Law Say about CBD Oil in Alaska?

RELATED: What Does "Full Spectrum CBD" Mean?

What Does the Law Say about CBD Oil in Alaska?

The confusion about what's legally permitted in Alaska seems to center around the state's regulatory processes and their implementation.

Regarding CBD oil, Alaska state law itself is pretty clear, though.

An FAQ released by the agriculture division of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources answers the public's most pressing queries about the state's Senate Bill 6, which legalized hemp farming and CBD.

The bill was signed into law by Governor Walker in April 2018. [2]

The document explains CBD law, saying that hemp "... can be processed in many different kinds of applications including oils. We expect that so long as CBD is processed from industrial hemp produced by registrants participating in the pilot program, it will be legal for program registrants to sell. However, DNR and the Department of Law will continue to address how changing federal law might restrict legal production of CBD-containing products, even under a pilot program."

So hemp-CBD oil is legal in Alaska. And it can be understood that as long as you are—or buy from—a registered industrial hemp cultivator, you can do so without fear of prosecution.

Simple enough—till you read on and hit the stern warning that unless and until all regulatory measures are adopted, the pilot program will not be deemed active. Ergo, " ...any growth, production, cultivation, marketing, or sale of industrial hemp remains illegal." [3]

So, defy at your own risk.

Regarding CBD oil, Alaska state law itself is pretty clear, though.

CBD Oil, Alaska, and the U.S. Department of Justice's DEA

To add to the confusion, industrial hemp-extracted CBD has, in fact, been completely legal for a while now—by national law.

Cannabidiol derived from specific parts of the hemp plant (a variety of cannabis) has long been excluded from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s definition of illegal Schedule I marijuana.

The cannabinoid content of the hemp parts needed to be mainly CBD and contain no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, the chemical that causes the "high" associated with marijuana use). Hemp itself remained a regulated Schedule I substance, however.

This matter is moot, though, because the end of 2018 saw Trump signing the now famous Farm Bill, a newsmaker mainly for its permissive Hemp Act. After many years of lobbying, this law finally and completely legalizes hemp farming, use, and possession.

The law also removes the hemp plant completely from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule I list of controlled substances.

CBD extracted from the hemp variety of Cannabis Sativa L. is therefore 100 percent legal in Alaska.

The whole of the USA is now waiting for the implementation of the bill, which takes effect in January 2019.

RELATED: The Greatest Victory For Hemp: The New Farm Bill Signed Into Law!

Federal Hemp Act, Alaska, CBD Oil—What Now?

It had best be noted that whatever state laws were passed before the Farm Bill of 2018, they will very likely be affected in some way by the federal farm bill. Regulatory procedures and processes are not set yet, either, and the going will probably be somewhat slow.

For instance—SB 6 details an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program with limited purposes. It "...authorizes the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) ... to create an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program to research the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp." [3]

The federal Farm Bill is a lot more expansive.

In the words of John Hudak, writing for The Brookings Organization: [4]

"It [the 2018 Farm Bill] explicitly allows the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or other purposes. It also puts no restrictions on the sale, transport, or possession of hemp-derived products, so long as those items are produced in a manner consistent with the law."

Federal Hemp Act, Alaska, CBD Oil—What Now?

Law is confusing by definition, but the recent happenings bode very well for all CBD lovers and the whole industry. And with good reason.

CBD Oil—The Benefits

While rigorous clinical testing is still needed for most ailments CBD is currently used for, there's enough preliminary data available to indicate its utility for a number of health issues.

Cannabidiol is considered very safe for use, even in children. The list of its benefits is long, and it includes:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Epileptic seizures (one CBD drug is already FDA-approved)
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • and more

It's important to invest in a full-spectrum, organic CBD oil of excellent quality, as you are more likely to reap the reported benefits that way.

RELATED: Are You Using Organic CBD Oil?

So, it's clear that regarding hemp farming and CBD oil, Alaska still seems to be sorting out its household issues. But after the recently passed 2018 Farm Bill, you could perhaps avoid landing in hot water for CBD oil possession and use. Hemp-derived CBD is readily available and is 100 percent legal in all U.S. states.

Sources:

  1. https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2018/12/19/want-some-cbd-in-your-coffee-marijuana-linked-oil-raises-concerns-among-regulators/
  2. https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/9/pub/MCB/Minutes/2018/05.07/Tab4.pdf
  3. http://plants.alaska.gov/pdf/industrialhempFAQs.pdf
  4. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/

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