Sales of CBD and Related Products

Last Reviewed on March 31, 2022

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in 18 states and the District of Columbia, and a super majority of states have legalized uses for the cannabis plant in one form or another. It’s an industry with significant potential for growth, and retailers reasonably want to be involved. But confusion runs rampant about what is now allowed—and what is not—under the law. 

Marijuana, any compounds derived from it and associated products remain completely illegal under federal law. Until recently, this also was true of hemp and hemp products (like hemp-derived CBD) despite their availability in the marketplace. What changed was the December 2018 passage of the Farm Bill. Most notably, the bill removed industrial hemp (and, by proxy, hemp-derived CBD) from its previous classification as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), making it legal for interested parties to produce, distribute and dispense it.

But the 2018 Farm Bill made no changes to the FDA’s authority to regulate the sales of food products, dietary supplements and certain body care products containing hemp-derived CBD under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act)—a significant hurdle for manufacturers interested in distributing and retailers interested in selling such products.

NACS has provided the following resource (Member-Only PDF) to help you navigate the gray areas around the sale of CBD and CBD-related products. We will continue to stay on top of changes in both federal and FDA policy that could modify our current information. You can review a summary of cannabis-related legislation (Member-Only PDF) that has been introduced this Congress, which includes broad legalization measures and more niche legislation that may also affect convenience retailers.