The CBD craze is sweeping the globe and is becoming as common as your daily vitamins on the shelves and online. But many people are still unsure on the legalities and regularly ask questions around the topic such as Can I be arrested for CBD?
The laws around the world covering these CBD products vary from country to country and even state to state in America, with new legislation and regulations cropping up regularly so it’s hard to keep up with the changing rules and knowing what’s legal and what’s not. To add to that many regulations are not very clear or can be interpreted in more than one way. And many people are worried they may end up being arrested if caught in possession of CBD products.
So, Can I be arrested for CBD?
Well the answer to this depends on where you live, the regulations there and what sort of CBD you are consuming. It’s advised to really do your research on what you are buying before doing so to ensure you are totally legal.
One difficulty with this is that the law isn’t always clear about CBD so people can misinterpret the meanings landing themselves in hot water. One example is John King of UK based Mushroom Headshop & CBD Hemp Botanicals. He was arrested for selling CBD/Hemp Flower. In the UK many believe that as long as the product has less than 0.2% THC or a maximum of 1mg THC per package, then they are good to go, however when it comes to the flowers and leaves of the plant, they are illegal in the UK regardless of the THC limit or if they come from EU approved seeds. King ended up being charged with Possession and intent to supply class B drugs.
Another issue people may face which can lead to arrests is the testing of products. Police tests only indicate if there is THC present. It doesn’t provide details on the level of THC. This could lead to arrests on legal trace amounts. Not only that but the tests are known to be inconsistent and can produce false positives as one Grandma in the USA found out. Hester Burkhalter was arrested at Disneyland as she was in possession of a bottle of CBD. The CBD was a doctor recommended product and was labelled as containing 0% THC. When the product was tested it (wrongly) showed THC was present and an arrest was made. Charges were later dropped.
Although Hemp may be legal in many countries and states, the police and law enforcement teams can easily mistake the legal form of cannabis for the high THC psychoactive form and arrest on the misunderstanding, as one South Florida truck driver found out. Aneudy Gonzalez was arrested transporting 3350 lbs of the low THC cannabis plant to New York from his home state of California. He was arrested along the journey after a state trooper stopped him and smelt ‘weed’. Even though his paperwork showed this was in fact hemp, he was not believed and was subsequently arrested. The local DEA was under the impression the federal legal level was 0.03% when in fact it was 0.3% and charged the trucker. Eventually Gonzalez was released and all charges were dropped.
Because of the misinterpretations that can happen, misunderstandings from law enforcement and inconsistent unreliable tests, we advise to be very careful and do research especially before travelling with CBD products.
Airlines and airports also have their own rules so always check before planning to travel via plane.
Where possible leave your CBD behind and just purchase new in your destination.
If you must travel carrying CBD then check rules and regulations first to make sure you’re not passing through a state that still deems hemp and cbd products illegal, and print COAs and lab reports showing the THC content to keep with you at all times.