Is CBD Oil Legal in Colorado?


Is CBD Oil Legal in Colorado?

Yes, it is legal to buy and consume CBD oil in Colorado. CBD oils are derived either from marijuana or industrial hemp. Individuals can consume CBD oils derived from industrial hemp, and there is no age restriction on its consumption. Their THC concentration is so low that it can not intoxicate consumers. Industrial hemp and its CBD oil derivative were removed from the list of controlled substances by the 2018 Farm Bill. Industrial hemp-derived CBD oil is thereby classified as an agricultural commodity. Marijuana-derived CBD oil is also legal. Amendment 64 of the Colorado legislature allows persons aged 21 years or older to purchase, possess, use, and transport regulated amounts of marijuana-derived CBD oil. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) requires industrial hemp-derived CBD oil manufacturers to prove that the hemp comes from an approved source. The Colorado Wholesale Food, Industrial Hemp and Shellfish Regulation defines an approved source as:

  • An industrial hemp manufacturer registered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment according to Section 25-5-426 of the Colorado Revised Statutes
  • A source General Recognized As Safe (GRAS)
  • Hemp seed, co-products of hemp seed, and by-products of hemp seed
  • Industrial hemp or hemp products that are procured from another state that has an established and approved industrial hemp program
  • Industrial hemp or hemp products that are procured from another country that has standardized regulation for hemp under a food safety program that guarantees the product as safe for human consumption

Consumers of industrial hemp-derived CBD oil do not need a prescription, and they are not restricted by age. However, marijuana-derived CBD oil has a higher concentration of THC and can be intoxicating; this accounts for the age restriction placed on its consumption by Amendment 64.

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What are Colorado CBD Laws in 2024?

Colorado Revised Statutes 2017 allows the cultivation and sales of industrial hemp. Section 35-61-101(7) of this statute defines industrial hemp as a plant or any part of the plant genus cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC in their dry weight. Section 35-61-102 authorizes the cultivation of industrial hemp for commercial, research, and development purposes. Section 35-61-105 of the state’s Revised Statutes mandates that a person registered with the government to cultivate industrial hemp at least once in a year, or as much as the CDPHE requires, shall submit a report containing:

  • Verification details substantiating that the industrial hemp crop they will cultivate is a type that produces a THC concentration that is not beyond 0.3% of its dry weight
  • Any other information duly required by the commissioner of agriculture

The section also authorizes the commissioner of agriculture, in consultation with the state agricultural commission, to adopt rules for the inspection of THC concentration of hemp plants. The rules to be adopted must include the procedures by which a registrant can apply for a waiver to cultivate hemp having a THC concentration above the stated limit. Section 35-36-102(7) of the Commodity Handlers and Farm Products Act classifies unprocessed industrial hemp as a commodity, while Section 35-36-102(14) describes industrial hemp as a farm product. These provisions authorize persons registered under Article 61 of the Colorado Revised Statute to possess, process, manufacture, transport, or distribute industrial hemp. They may also sell industrial hemp products produced from it, including CBD oil, without being subject to any civil or criminal actions under the law.

Section 35-36-301 of the Commodity Handlers and Farm Products Act requires industrial hemp vendors in Colorado to be licensed as one of the following three categories before doing business in the state.

  • Agent: This is defined by the Act as a person who buys, receives, contracts for, or solicits any farm product from owners of farm products or sells farm products for an owner. An agent is also a person who negotiates a consignment or purchases farm products on behalf of a dealer or small-volume dealer
  • Dealer: This is defined by the Act as a person who is involved in the business of:
    • Buying of farm products from an owner for processing or resale
    • Receiving and taking possession of farm products from an owner for storage or safekeeping
    • Soliciting or negotiating sales of any farm products between a vendor and buyer.
    • Receiving on consignment or soliciting from an owner regarding any kind of farm product to be sold on behalf of an owner for a commission
    • Buying farm products or commodities from owners for commercial livestock feeding either partly or wholly by another person. The business operation must involve not less than two thousand five hundred livestock for the buyer to be classified as a dealer
  • Small Volume Dealer: The Act defines this as a person involved in buying farm products for processing, resale, or feeding of livestock but not large quantities as may be classified a dealer

There is no restriction on the consumption of industrial hemp-derived CBD in Colorado, as studies do not associate CBD consumption with abuse, adverse reactions, or other risks.

What are Colorado CBD Possession Limits?

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment does not place possession limits on CBD oil and other CBD products in the state. However, the department requires manufacturers of CBD products to indicate the source of the product on the label. There is no age restriction on the possession of Industrial hemp-derived CBD in the state, unlike marijuana-derived CBD. Only persons who are 21 years of age or older may possess marijuana-derived CBD.

Can Doctors Prescribe CBD Oil in Colorado?

Yes, Colorado laws allow doctors to prescribe CBD oil to treat debilitating medical conditions. Senate Bill 19-013 provides rules for the recommendation of CBD oil to treat debilitating medical conditions for persons under the age of 18. Such persons are required to be diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by two physicians. One of these physicians must be any of the following:

  • A Colorado Medical Board-certified pediatrician
  • A Colorado medical board-certified family physician
  • A Colorado medical board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist who is a part of the patients' primary care provider team

However, if the physician issuing the recommendation is not part of the patients' primary care provider team, state law requires them to review the records of:

  • The diagnosing physician or
  • The licensed mental health provider who attended to the patient, acting within the scope of their practice

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy CBD in Colorado?

Colorado requires individuals wishing to buy CBD within its borders to be 18 years or older. This rule makes CBD products inaccessible to minors and mandates CBD shops and dispensaries to ask shoppers for their IDs to verify their ages before selling CBD products to them.

What are the Licensing Requirements for CBD in Colorado?

Colorado does not require a license to grow or produce CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC. However, under Section 35-61-104 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, the Colorado Department of Agriculture requires growers of industrial hemp to obtain a commercial registration. This registration permits holders to cultivate industrial hemp for commerce, market development, and market research. Institutions may obtain a Research and Development (R&D) registration to cultivate industrial hemp under pilot programs.

Before applying for the registration, prospective growers need to inquire from their specific county, city, and homeowner association about the existing hemp zoning restrictions. They also should note that they can not cultivate marijuana on any land area covered by their industrial hemp commercial cultivation certificate. This is regardless of whether they wish to cultivate the marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes. Applicants for industrial hemp commercial license need to include the following details in their application:

  • The GPS coordinates of the land area they wish to use for the cultivation (This should be in decimal degrees)
  • The township, section, and geographical range of the land area (This should be obtained using
  • A clear map from a satellite view of the land area (preferably a google map source)
  • Variety names of the hemp plant, if available
  • Required payment

Prospective growers of industrial hemp are required to pay a $500 registration fee. Other fees applicable are:

  • $5 for every outdoor acre of industrial hemp or
  • $3 for each 1,000 square foot of industrial hemp indoor

CBD product sellers in Colorado are also required to obtain a license. They may apply for a license as a dealer, an agent, or a small volume dealer. Section 35-36-302 of the Commodity handlers Act requires applicants to file a written application with the Commissioner of Agriculture for any license category. The applicant must state the following in their application:

  • Their full name
  • Whether they are a firm, exchange, association, or corporation
  • The full names of each member of the firm or the owners of the company; in case of an exchange, association or corporation
  • The principal business address of the applicant in Colorado or in any other place. They are also required to provide the name of the person authorized to receive and accept service summons and all other form legal notices on behalf of the applicant

The applicant shall be examined to ensure their character, responsibility, and good faith to perform the required responsibilities of the business stated in their application. The judgment of the Commissioner of Agriculture while examining the applicant shall be guided by Section 24-5-101 of the Colorado Revised Statute. This is to determine whether the applicant has criminal convictions or has a collateral relief issued by a court and other similar conditions regarding their criminal history.

They shall also submit a license application fee along with the license application. The amount to be paid as a license application fee will be determined by the Colorado Agricultural Commission, as authorized by Section 35-36-303 of the Commodity Handlers Act.

Colorado has labeling requirements for marijuana and industrial hemp product manufacturers that use CBD as ingredients for food and drinks. Hemp and marijuana products must meet the following labeling requirements:

  • The total cannabinoid content must be written on the label of the product package. This should include the THC content in milligrams. However, the THC content may not be written on the label if the CBD product does not contain up to 0.3% THC
  • Manufacturers of marijuana or industrial hemp-derived CBD products must not make health claims about their products
  • Manufacturers of marijuana or industrial hemp-derived CBD products must include on the label that the product is not FDA approved

Where to Buy CBD in Colorado?

There are over 1,000 licensed marijuana stores in Colorado where individuals can purchase CBD oils and other CBD products. Individuals can also buy CBD oils and other CBD products from vape stores, head shops, natural health shops, wellness centers, and online shops in the state. Technically, the FDA still considers it illegal to infuse CBD in foods and beverages. Despite this, many vendors sell CBD-infused foods and beverages across Colorado, but they can not sell them in areas under federal jurisdiction and on inter-state borders.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is the product of CBD extract mixed with a carrier oil. The most commonly used carrier oils are hemp seed oil and coconut oil. Once extracted from a cannabis plant, CBD appears as a thick paste. Dissolving it in a carrier oil makes it shelf-stable and easier to consume.

CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol, is among the major components of cannabis and industrial hemp. It is mostly derived from the hemp plant. On the other hand, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is mostly found in marijuana and in trace amounts in hemp plants. Unlike THC, CBD does not have components that can cause a 'high' when consumed. CBD is not addictive.

CBD is reported to be beneficial in the management of some health challenges such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic pain: CBD is reported to help lower pain and inflammation from arthritis and neuropathic conditions
  • Addiction: CBD is found useful in controlling the desire for tobacco and heroin among drug addicts

The common forms in which CBD is presented are:

  • CBD oils
  • CBD edibles, such as chocolates, beverages, baked items, beverages, and gummies
  • Topicals such as balms, creams, lotions, and ointments
  • Pills and Capsules
  • Vaping liquids

CBD is not yet approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) as an ingredient that can be sold as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The agency prohibits CBD-infused drugs from being distributed or sold in federal jurisdiction and interstate commerce. The FDA, however, approved only one prescription drug containing purified CBD liquid to be used for the treatment of seizures. CBD is legal in Colorado and it is regulated by the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

What Does CBD Do?

CBD has neuroprotective properties that make it useful in the management of a number of mental health disorders. It is useful for managing depression and its relaxing effect makes it suitable for treating insomnia. One approved use of CBD is the treatment of seizures for people living with epilepsy. Besides its neurological benefits, CBD may also be useful for treating chronic pain and inflammation. Its use for improving cardiovascular health is reported but requires further studies to validate.

Does CBD Show Up on Colorado Drug Test?

Cannabis drug tests in Colorado look for detectable levels of THC and its metabolites. While CBD is quite different from THC, CBD products do contain small amounts of THC. Therefore, it is possible to fail a drug test intended to detect cannabis use through elevated THC levels if you regularly consume CBD products or take a high dose of CBD prior to the test. One way to avoid failing a Colorado THC drug test as a CBD user is to stop taking CBD products two weeks before a scheduled test. Individuals likely to be subjected to unscheduled drug tests should opt for CBD products containing 0% THC.

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