Unraveling the Complexities of CBD Law in Colorado


Colorado has some of the most progressive cannabis laws in
the country. In November of 2012, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, and
alongside Washington State, it became one of the first states in the union to
embrace heavily-taxed recreational marijuana use within its jurisdiction.

While lax, progressive cannabis laws like those in Colorado inevitably
bring about a general legal climate of acceptance of CBD use, the battle to
clearly define acceptable and unacceptable use of CBD in Colorado is far from
over. Both state and federal laws have bearing on the legal complexities
surrounding CBD law in Colorado, and in this guide, we’ll unravel it all and
explain the legal status of CBD in this state in plain English.

Is CBD Legal in Colorado?

For all intents and purposes, yes. The average consumer in
Colorado is free to either import CBD products across state lines or purchase
CBD from state-sanctioned Colorado recreational or medical marijuana
dispensaries. Just because owning and using CBD in Colorado is far more legal
than it is illegal, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be up to date on the
various factors that are currently shaping the future of CBD law in this state.

Amendment 64 made it legal for all Colorado residents and
visitors to the Centennial State to purchase and consume cannabis products in
reasonable amounts. Unlike some other states, Colorado doesn’t define CBD as a
marijuana constituent. In this way, Colorado CBD law is congruent with federal
CBD law, which also no longer considers CBD to be analogous with cannabis.

Instead, Colorado law regards CBD as an industrial hemp
product, which means that it’s governed by Title 35 Article 61 of the Colorado
Revised Statutes and 8 CCR 1203-23. Industrial hemp production and regulation
in this state is the purview of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture (CDA)
, and specifically, CBD falls under the following
legal definition of industrial hemp in Colorado:

“[A] plant of the genus Cannabis and any part of the plant,
whether growing or not, containing a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3% THC) on a dry
weight basis.”

Colorado home with mountains in the background
Colorado’s progressive cannabis laws make things easier for CBD users

How Do Colorado Cannabis Laws Affect CBD’s Legal Status?

Whether it’s at the state or federal level, defining isolate
CBD oil and CBD-rich hemp oil as industrial hemp products would seemingly clear
the air of any confusion regarding CBD’s legality. However, the state of
Colorado has clearly implied that it would prefer to garnish the tax revenue it
receives from THC-rich recreational cannabis products with the potential
earnings from CBD commerce within the state, and the federal government is
equally transparent in its push to classify CBD as a pharmaceutical drug and
regulate the general market CBD industry into oblivion.

While relevant state and federal authorities are both openly
hostile to the notion of the common folk trading CBD freely, both the Colorado
government and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have had to
begrudgingly admit that enforcing a systemic crackdown on general market CBD
would vastly exceed the resources available to either governing entity. The overwhelming
popularity of general market CBD in Colorado and beyond has temporarily put the
regulatory forces that would impinge on its freedom of growth in a legal
headlock, which means that there’s never been a better or safer time for
Colorado residents to purchase and use CBD.

Colorado CBD Law: Summing It Up

Here are the bullet points you need to keep in mind as you
consider the current state of Colorado CBD law:

  • Amendment 64 made it legal for adults 21 or over
    to purchase and consume cannabis products in Colorado
  • Many state-sponsored recreational and medical marijuana
    stores in Colorado sell CBD products
  • Title 35 Article 61 of the Colorado Revised
    Statutes defines CBD as an industrial hemp product rather than a cannabis
    product, which therefore establishes CBD as a general market product in
  • CBD is freely available at general market
    retailers in Colorado, both Colorado bureaucrats and relevant federal entities
    have indicated their disinterest in cracking down on this market, and thousands
    of CBD products are shipped into Colorado from other states every day without interference
  • Colorado’s permissive cannabis laws make legal
    troubles over individual CBD ownership in this state practically unthinkable

Most of the confusion regarding CBD law in Colorado stems
from one simple fact: Colorado legislators never specifically legalized CBD
sale or use in this state. However, all cannabis products are legal for adults
to possess and use in Colorado, and this state’s industrial hemp definition dovetails
with the commonly-accepted definition of CBD as a cannabis product containing
less than 0.3% THC.

While Colorado state agencies may continue to battle it out
over CBD’s specific statewide definition for some time, it’s all noise in the
end. Colorado’s CBD market is too big to kill, and the important work is
already done: Both cannabis and industrial hemp are legal in Colorado, and
federal law has stricken CBD from the definition of cannabis. While CBD producers
like us at CBGenius will still have to face regulatory
hurdles as relevant agencies come to grips with the fact that general market
CBD isn’t going anywhere, the chances of individuals being charged with crimes
for owning CBD in Colorado have essentially dropped to zero with recent
legislative changes.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration headquarters
The FDA still has some things to say about general market CBD

The Impact of Federal CBD Law

2018 will long be known as the year that fully reshaped the conversation
surrounding CBD at the federal level. Bowing to the pressure generated from the
ever-growing national CBD market, federal legislators were finally forced to
remove CBD from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s definition of cannabis
pursuant to the Agriculture
Improvement Act of 2018

While the DEA may no longer have the authority to prosecute CBD
users or manufacturers, that doesn’t mean the federal government is going to
keep its hands off the CBD industry. On the contrary, as the recent FDA
approval of Epidiolex shows
, the federal government is keen to funnel the
benefits of CBD into the regulated pharmaceutical sector.

Epidiolex is a synthetic CBD analogue, and it has none of
the benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil. Instead, it is essentially a synthetic
version of CBD isolate, which doesn’t benefit from the entourage
. Despite the fact that Epidiolex is inferior to genuine CBD, the big
pharma product pipeline will require products like Epidiolex to steal the
thunder of the general market CBD industry and funnel its consumers into
purchasing state-sanctioned, pharmaceutical versions of CBD.

The Feds’ New Position

In explaining the FDA’s new position on CBD, outgoing
commissioner Scott Gottlieb was quick to say that this agency still has purview
over the general market CBD industry. In the commissioner’s
own words
, “In short, we treat products containing cannabis or
cannabis-derived compounds as we do any other FDA-regulated products — meaning
they’re subject to the same authorities and requirements as FDA-regulated
products containing any other substance.”

So, just like the FDA regulates pharmaceutical drugs, certain
kinds of supplements, and food labels, this government agency has firmly stated
its intent to take the helm in determining the standards by which CBD companies
must operate to maintain legal status. It’s unclear, however, how much the FDA’s
blustering will directly impact the CBD industry directly.

What It All Means

While the FDA still has some restrictions on the types of CBD
products that can be sold across state lines, most CBD manufacturers have taken
the changes in the 2018 Farm Bill as encouragement. Now that there’s no chance
of being prosecuted by the DEA for making, selling, or using CBD, users of this
substance all over the country have won a degree of freedom.

With this freedom of commerce comes the inevitable
mainstreaming of CBD products, and it’s unmistakably clear exactly what the
pharmaceutical industry and its proxies at the FDA have planned for this natural,
hemp-based substance. Over the years, the FDA has commonly served as the
mechanism of acquisition of powerful healing tools that emerged outside the mainstream,
and it has also served as the weapon the pharmaceutical lobby uses to destroy

It certainly appears, however, that the heavy-handed techniques
the FDA usually uses under similar circumstances are doomed to fail in the case
of CBD. The industry has simply grown too big to control, and while the FDA’s
efforts might force disreputable companies to cease making unsubstantiated
medical claims and subject CBD companies to much-needed production method
scrutiny, it’s highly unlikely that the federal government has the time or the
manpower to completely eliminate CBD from the general market.

If this federal agency had gotten started 10 or 15 years
ago, it might have had a chance, but at this point, extreme force would be
necessary to entirely kill the general market CBD industry, and in the social
media age, the PR fallout from such a measure would be disastrous to the FDA.
Instead of cracking down on CBD manufacturers across the country, the FDA’s
Gottlieb has extended the olive branch and said, “let’s talk.”

On May 31st, 2019, the FDA will hold a public
to “give stakeholders an opportunity to provide the FDA with
additional input relevant to the agency’s regulatory strategy related to
existing products, as well as the lawful pathways by which appropriate products
containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can be marketed, and how we
can make these legal pathways more predictable and efficient. We hope to gain
additional information and data for the FDA to consider with respect to
products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD.”

The FDA is essentially asking for help in regulating CBD
because it doesn’t know what to do. Now, does that seem like a federal agency
that’s going to bust down your door at 5 AM asking where you got your CBD oil?

"Cannabis Station" recreational marijuana store in Colorado
Some things in Colorado never change

What Do Colorado Residents Need to Know?

When it comes right down to it, three aspects of CBD law
matter to Colorado residents and visitors to the Centennial State:

  1. All cannabis products are legal to possess and
    use within the state boundaries of Colorado
  2. In Colorado, CBD is not considered to be a
    cannabis product, and it is regulated by the CDA as an industrial hemp product
  3. The DEA has stricken CBD from its definition of
    cannabis, which removes CBD’s Schedule I drug status

Do these three facts mean that the legal status of CBD is
entirely settled? No. Do they mean that Colorado residents have nothing to fear
from buying CBD in Colorado or purchasing it across state lines? Yes.

Sidle on up to CBGenius.net

Where Can I Get CBD Oil in Colorado?

It’s important to remember that not all CBD is equal. One
positive aspect of the FDA’s increased interest in CBD is the increased
regulatory scrutiny that will be imposed on disreputable CBD companies. It’s unclear,
however, how this regulatory oversight will apply to CBD-rich products sold at
state-sanctioned recreational and medical marijuana shops. Before you purchase
CBD in Colorado, you should know the different ways you can get this compound
and determine the best option at your disposal:

1. Recreational Cannabis Stores

Colorado recreational marijuana dispensaries can sell
state-authorized CBD products. However, these products are only subject to the scrutiny
of the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR), so there’s no way to determine
the quality of CBD products sold in recreational cannabis shops.

Plus, according to Jesse at The Greenery in Durango,
Colorado, most recreational cannabis stores in the state don’t sell general market
CBD products due to tax complexities. The CBD products you’ll find at Colorado recreational
cannabis shops invariably have higher THC concentrations than are allowed in
general market CBD products, so if you don’t want to get high when you use CBD,
don’t go to a recreational dispensary.

2. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Even though all Colorado residents now have access to cannabis
products, this state has retained its medical marijuana program, which flies in
the face of Washington State’s unremitting crackdown on untaxed medical
marijuana shops that started the moment this state’s recreational marijuana
laws came into effect. However, there’s no way to guarantee the quality or
potency of CBD products you purchase as a Colorado medical marijuana

3. General Market Retailers

When you shop for CBD from a general market retailer in Colorado,
you gain access to increased product options, and you also have the option of
purchasing CBD products that have no THC or THC levels low enough that you won’t
experience any of the psychoactive effects of this cannabinoid. Just because
general market retailers give you access to more CBD product options, however,
is no guarantee that you’ll pick the right CBD product when you visit a natural
foods store or vape shop. There are plenty of irresponsible general market CBD
companies out there, and you’ll need to learn the difference between a good
company and a bad company before you proceed.

4. Online from CBGenius

The internet has always been and remains the best place to
buy CBD despite the increased availability of this beneficial cannabinoid in
recreational shops, medical shops, and general market stores across the
country. When you shop for CBD online, you gain access to the largest possible
pool of product options, and the incredible degree of competition you find in
the online CBD market is always pushing manufacturers to produce excellent

For example, this competition gave birth to CBGenius, which is
the most scientifically-backed CBD company in this cannabinoid’s general market
history. With a team of Ph.D. CBD researchers supporting our explosive growth,
we produce the highest-quality cannabidiol products on the internet.

Our research has led us to recognize that both isolate CBD
and CBD-rich hemp oil have unique benefits, which is why we offer Full-Spectrum
Hemp Oil Extracts
and Isolated CBD. Different
routes of administration are more effective for different applications, so in
addition to oral CBD products, we also offer CBD vape cartridges,
, and even CBD bath

As leaders in CBD innovation, we’re always coming up with
better, safer, and more effective ways to deliver the benefits of CBD directly
to your door. We proudly ship to addresses in Colorado, so whether you want to receive
the best CBD products science can offer at your home or your place of business,
we’ve got you covered.

CBGenius CBD manufacturer logo

Summing It Up: CBD Law in Colorado

Out of all the states that have legalized recreational cannabis,
Colorado seems to have the most reasonable bureaucratic structure for handling
CBD. While Colorado law stopped short of specifically dealing with the issue of
CBD in its cannabis or industrial hemp legislation, the confluence of cannabis legalization
in Colorado, this state’s definition of industrial hemp, and the recent federal
descheduling of CBD make now the best time in Colorado’s history to try the
benefits of CBD for yourself.

For us at CBGenius, we’re encouraged by the evolution of CBD
law in Colorado. Everywhere in the nation, from Kansas to Florida to Maine,
state legislators are voting to fully legalize CBD, and many of these states
have looked to Colorado as a model for proper CBD legislation. Residents of the
Centennial State now have a wealth of options when it comes to sourcing CBD, but
our focus on quality and attention to detail still makes CBGenius the preeminent
source of full-spectrum hemp products and isolate CBD for everyone in Colorado
who wants to experience the incredible benefits of cannabidiol firsthand.

As the ongoing saga of CBD law in America continues to
unfold, we’ll be your source of the latest information on cannabidiol
developments and how they affect your ability to use CBD free of government
overreach. Make sure to check back for updates, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any comments or
about the evolution of CBD law in your state.


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