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Is CBD legal in DC?

The legal status of CBD in Washington, D.C. has been a topic of interest for many individuals both in and outside the state seeking the potential benefits of a natural wellness product. With varying regulations at both the state and federal levels, it’s crucial to understand the current landscape surrounding CBD legality in the nation’s capital.

Is CBD legal in D.C.? The short answer is yes (1), provided that both the possession and use of CBD is within the stipulated limits. In this article, we’ll delve into these stipulations and consider other important factors, such as THC limits, the distinction between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana, and licensing requirements. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the legal framework, you can navigate the CBD market in Washington, D.C. with confidence and make informed decisions regarding this popular cannabinoid.

CBD Oils Classifications

In Washington, D.C., there are distinct types of CBD, sourced from either marijuana or hemp. These varieties differ in their THC content, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. CBD derived from marijuana is high in THC and can induce a “high” effect, while CBD derived from hemp typically contains only trace amounts of THC, usually below 0.3%.

In the district, CBD products derived from marijuana are subject to restrictions and are solely permitted for patients registered under the state’s medical marijuana program. On the other hand, CBD derived from hemp is protected by the 2018 Farm Bill (2), which legalized hemp products with a THC level below 0.3% on a federal level. Consequently, CBD products like oils, capsules, and others are widely accessible in Washington, D.C.

While recreational marijuana consumption was approved in the capital state in 2014, the regulations surrounding its use remain unclear and can be confusing for individuals seeking clarity.

Legal Status of CBD in Washington, D.C.

No specific laws regarding CBD have been enacted in D.C. Despite the 2018 Farm Bill’s passage, D.C. has yet to implement an industrial hemp program. According to the bill, products derived from industrial hemp may be sold in the state, but only if their THC content does not exceed 0.3% by weight.

However, cannabis is legal in Washington, D.C. for both medical and recreational use. The government passed Initiative 71 on November 4th, 2014, decriminalizing the cultivation, sale, and use of recreational cannabis. (3) Individuals over the age of 21 can possess up to two ounces of marijuana. However, only patients who possess medical marijuana cards may purchase CBD with higher THC content at regulated dispensaries.

Can minors purchase CBD in D.C.?

The District of Columbia requires individuals purchasing hemp-derived CBD products within its jurisdiction to be over the age of 18. However, only adults over the age of 21 can purchase mairjuana and marijuana-derived CBD. Initiative 71 did not change existing law on marijuana possession for anyone under 21 years of age, thus it’s still illegal for minors to purchase or possess marijuana and related products.

Can you buy hemp-derived CBD oil in D.C.?

Buying hemp CBD oil in the state is legal as long as the manufacturing company falls under the 7607 of the 2018 Farm Bill, and, as mentioned, contains less than 0.3% of THC. Hemp CBD products contain only trace amounts of THC, which makes this type of CBD oil non-psychoactive. As mentioned in the section above, you must be over the age of 18 to purchase hemp-derived CBD products within the state of D.C.

Can you buy hemp-derived CBD oil online in D.C.?

Generally speaking, yes you can buy CBD oil online as hemp-derived CBD oil with a THC content of less than 0.3% is federally legal. However, in the District of Columbia, you must be over the age of 18 to purchase CBD products. Both brick and mortar and online stores have precautions in place to ensure you’54 18 and older prior to purchasing any CBD products.

Can you buy marijuana-derived CBD oil in D.C.?

Only medical marijuana card holders can purchase marijuana-derived CBD oil from regulated dispensaries in the District of Columbia. If you suffer from one of the conditions listed in the Mairijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015 (4), you may submit a request to join the Medical Marijuana Program.

If you’re already a medical marijuana card holder, you’re free to purchase marijuana-derived CBD oil in one of the state-licensed dispensaries.

Can you buy CBD hemp flower in D.C.?

Due to its lack of intoxicating effects, CBD hemp flower is legal to purchase in D.C.—again, given the stipulation that its THC content is below 0.3% in dry weight. Like all hemp-derived CBD products, you may purchase it as long as you’re 18 years old and above.

Can you smoke or consume CBD in public in D.C.?

There are no specific laws regarding smoking or consuming CBD in public, but given that CBD is legal federally as long as the stipulations have been met (below 0.3% THC, possessed by an individual 18 years and above) smoking or consuming hemp-derived CBD in public should be legal. 

However, if smoking high-quality hemp, the smell may be very similar to that of marijuana, which is illegal to smoke in any public space (parks, streets, alleys, sidewalks, etc.) or anywhere to which the public is invited (restaurants, bars, malls, etc.)

Can you bring CBD gummies and other products to D.C.?

If the CBD gummies or other products are hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% THC, then those CBD products will be legal for you to possess and use within the District of Columbia. Marijuana-derived CBD and CBD products with higher than 0.3% THC levels will require you to have a medical marijuana card, otherwise, possession of such within the state will be illegal.

Selling CBD in D.C.

The laws on selling CBD in D.C. are unclear, as currently Washington D.C. does not have an established industrial hemp program. Thus, there is no law that regulates industrial hemp licensing, cultivation, testing, or manufacturing. There are no licensing requirements for retailers selling hemp-derived CBD products, though there are requirements that exist for marijuana-derived CBD under the Safe Cannabis Sales Act. (5)

In short, selling hemp-derived CBD products is legal in D.C. as long as the products meet federal stipulations—again, less than 0.3% THC and sold only to individuals who are 18 years or older.


In short, CBD is legal in D.C. as long as:

  • The CBD is hemp-derived
  • The CBD product has less than 0.3% THC in dry weight
  • The CBD product is possessed and consumed by an individual who is 18 years or older

While D.C. has less-defined regulations around CBD, making it difficult to discern whether selling CBD in the state or consuming CBD in D.C.’s public areas is legal, federal law states that it is okay to consume as long as the above conditions are met. However, we always recommend keeping up to date with laws and regulations. It also helps to check if the CBD products you’re purchasing have been third-party lab tested to guarantee the product’s safety, quality, and legality. 


  1. 115th Congress. (n.d.). H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2023, from
  2. Washington D.C. Cannabis. (n.d.). CBD in Washington D.C.: 2023 guide. Retrieved July 17, 2023, from
  3. Office of the Mayor. (n.d.). Initiative 71: Frequently asked questions. Retrieved July 17, 2023, from
  4. D.C. Council. (2015). D.C. marijuana legalization and regulation act of 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2023, from
  5. Office of the Mayor. (2019). Safe cannabis sales act of 2019: Proposed legislation. Retrieved July 17, 2023, from