Compliance & Legal

Complying with federal and state laws and regulations is critical for all companies who are manufacturing and selling CBD (Cannabidiol) products.

However, these laws can be very confusing even for people with years of industry experience. This industry is young, these federal guidelines and precedents ensure proper labeling of cannabinoid concentrations and claims about the effects of CBD-infused products.

Comfort Leaf proudly complies with all existing guidelines, including:

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is an act that establishes a way for the federal government to control food ingredients and drugs that are considered unsafe or dangerous for human or animal consumption. The CSA utilizes a scheduling system to classify substances based on the inherent risk involved in their use. Schedule one is reserved for substances which possess “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Marijuana is a schedule one controlled substance, along with heroin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). For comparison, cocaine and methamphetamine are both schedule two controlled substances.

Under 21 USC 802(d) (16), the Controlled Substances Act clearly designates marijuana, defined as “any part of the plant cannabis sativa L.,” as a schedule one controlled substance. Furthermore, it separately designates tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a schedule one controlled substance. This is taken to presume that the separate designation of THC as a controlled substance in addition to marijuana refers to any and all synthetic THC but not naturally occurring THC which is not produced by marijuana as defined in the act.

Because THC is listed as a controlled substance in addition to marijuana (which obviously contains naturally-occurring THC) it is presumed that naturally-occurring THC not found in marijuana (i.e., THC found in cannabis plants that do not fall under the CSA definition of marijuana, namely, hemp) cannot be regulated by the DEA because non-psychoactive hemp is explicitly not a controlled substance.

This interpretation was upheld on February 6, 2004 in the final decision of HIA v. DEA.

It was also reiterated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in an internal directive issued on May 22, 2018. This directive unambiguously states that the “mere presence of cannabinoids” does not constitute a controlled substance and that instead, the DEA bases its scope of activity regarding cannabinoids on “whether the substance falls within the CSA definition of marijuana.”

The DEA cannot add substances to the CSA, and it can only regulate substances that fall within the CSA.

The Agricultural Act of 2014, more commonly known as the 2014 Farm Bill or just the Farm Bill, is a piece of sweeping legislation that controls nearly $1 trillion of government funding. Agricultural Acts such as this are passed every 3-5 years and make up the legal framework in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture operates. Farm Bills include the allocation of provisional funding for food stamps and other nutritional assistance programs.

Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, titled “Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research,” addresses the cultivation and processing of hemp and hemp-derived products. Section 7606 provides two conditions that must be met in order for the growth of hemp to be federally legal.

Firstly, the grower must be working in partnership with either the state department of agriculture or a school of agriculture affiliated with a state institution of higher education.

Secondly, the growth or cultivation must be carried out for research-oriented purposes as opposed to commercially-oriented purposes.

Most notably, the Farm Bill quietly made an exception to the CSA definition of marijuana for what it terms “industrial hemp,” here defined as, “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Farm Bill hemp – cannabis with less than 0.3% THC by weight – is not a controlled substance.

The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2016 is the 2016 iteration of the funding bill of the federal government. This bill clarifies for which uses federal dollars may be allocated. Section 763 of the 2016 funding bill prohibits the federal government from spending federal dollars “to prohibit the transportation, processing, sale or use of industrial hemp that is grown or cultivated in accordance with section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, within or outside the State in which the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated.”

This means that the federal government is not allowed to spend a single cent on prosecuting individuals participating in activities protected under section 7606 of the Farm Bill.

Taken together, these three pieces of legislation along with the DEA’s own internal directive form a very unambiguous means of legal protection for individuals and entities participating in the hemp industry that was established with the Farm Bill of 2014.

The Agricultural Act of 2014, more commonly known as the 2014 Farm Bill, opened up new doors for the hemp industry by legalizing some cultivation activities that have since allowed the industry to grow in unprecedented ways.

Following the success of various pilot programs made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp is now widely accepted by the public and most lawmakers. In 2018, the US Senate introduced The Hemp Farming Act in its version of The 2018 Farm Bill. Among other things, the act sought to make hemp an agricultural commodity, give states the power to oversee hemp production, and take away the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) authority over hemp.

The 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law in December 2018, effectively legalizing hemp at the federal level by removing it from the federal list of controlled substances and classifying it as an agricultural commodity. As a result, CBD from hemp is legal nationwide. The Hemp Farming Act, included in the 2018 Farm Bill, is considered the most important victory in the history of the hemp industry in the United States.

How We Stay Compliant

While the federal legalities surrounding hemp and CBD continues to become more favorable. Here at Comfort Leaf, we comply with relevant state laws having jurisdiction over both nutritional supplements and hemp-derived products.

For example, the state of Indiana requires that hemp-derived products include on their labeling some objective proof as to the THC levels and hemp-derived nature of the product.

Look for the QR Code

Each QR code is unique to the product batch and can be scanned using any smartphone. We proudly displayed our QR Codes on our product which directs the user to the information they are looking such as lab results, ingredients, reviews, etc.

Comfort Leaf QR codes provide our customers with peace of mind but it also allows our company to stay compliant, safe and positions our company to be in business for years to come as the hemp industry of the US continues to grow and develop, lawmakers are beginning to wake up!

The Legal Definition of Hemp

According to the federal government, industrial hemp is defined as any plant, or derivative thereof, of the genus Cannabis, with less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) by dry weight. THC is the compound in cannabis that causes psychoactive effects (the high).

All of the CBD products we provide at Comfort Leaf contain 0% THC as can be confirmed on our Lab Results page.

Where is CBD Legal?

There are currently ten states where cannabis is entirely legal for medicinal and recreational use. If you live in one of these ten states, you can use CBD that comes from hemp or marijuana. These states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

As of 2019, there are only three states with restrictions on all cannabis and cannabis-derived products. These are Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Even though hemp is likely to become more accessible in these territories soon, if you are in one of these states, it is crucial that you know what kind of CBD extract you are using and where it comes from.

In the remaining 37 states, CBD derived from hemp is legal as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill. However, specific state laws surrounding marijuana-derived products vary per jurisdiction.

As mentioned before, if you are consuming hemp-derived CBD anywhere in the U.S., you have no reason to be concerned.

…But, when it comes to CBD products derived from marijuana, laws vary significantly at the state level. If you are not sure about your state’s cannabis laws, navigate through our map to learn more.

Courtesy Disclaimer:  *The legal landscape around CBD is unclear and changing rapidly both at the Federal and State level. The information on our website and any other communication regarding legality which you may receive from any representative of Comfort Leaf is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You must make your own judgment regarding whether you should purchase CBD in your jurisdiction. You should contact your attorney to obtain more specific guidance.*