CBD oil fulfillment and shipping is legal in all fifty states. Learn how follow strict state and federal guidelines, and best serve your customers. This article helps sort through the latest requirements for CBD warehouse and fulfillment.
CBD eCommerce Fulfillment and Shipping Facts
Depending on where you’re located in the United States, you may have noticed a crop of new businesses that sell products containing CBD oil opening in local shopping centers and online fulfillment and shipping businesses.
Short for Cannabidiol, CBD oil is a derivative of the cannabis plant that does not contain the psychoactive ingredient THC. Cannabidiol is said to promote feelings of relaxation and well-being without the “high” associated with marijuana. Because of this lack of THC, CBD is legal in many places where marijuana is not, however it does pose some shipping and storage restrictions that manufacturers and shippers should be aware of.
CBD Order Fulfillment and Shipping
To better understand the restrictions on shipping and storing CBD oil, it helps to understand more about the oil itself. CBD oil is derived from the cannabis Sativa family of plants. Though CBD can be derived from both female marijuana and male hemp plants, it is said that there is a more plentiful supply of CBD in hemp plants than in marijuana plants. Furthermore, while both marijuana and hemp plants contain THC, hemp plants do contain a far smaller concentration of THC than marijuana, making CBD from hemp plants legal in many more places than its marijuana-based counterpart. Cannabidiol is not to be confused with another hemp product- hemp oil, as this is an entirely different (also non-psychoactive) product that is often touted for its moisturizing benefits.
Currently, CBD is available in a variety of different products, from oils and creams that are applied topically to edible products and vaping fluids which are ingested. Still, because of its origins, these products must meet certain requirements as specified by the 2018 Farm Bill to be sold, stored, and transported.
Is CBD Legal in the US?
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD and hemp oil cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Any product with a concentration higher than this is considered marijuana and is exempt from legal protection under the Farm Bill. It is also important to note that while the Farm Bill does legalize hemp production, this legalization is highly restricted and for licensed growers only- not for the average home gardener. It also does nothing to legalize marijuana use or farming, and though several states have already legalized marijuana, those legalities only exist at the state level. On the federal level, marijuana is still illegal in all 50 states.
Are There Any Restrictions for CBD in Specific States?
As far as CBD is concerned, many states still restrict the ingredient depending on where it is derived from (hemp vs. cannabis plants). Some restrictions on CBD include requiring a prescription to legally use it, so it pays to know which states are safe to distribute and use the product in.
Here in the US, states wherein marijuana and CBD is legal in some form:
Internationally, countries like Russia, Malaysia, and The United Arab Emirates do not allow CBD sales at all, while other countries such as Australia have very tight rules regarding sales.
CBD Product Fulfillment and Shipping in the USA
For online retailers who sell CBD, there is good news. Yes, CBD oil fulfillment and shipping is legal in all fifty states, but you must follow certain state and federal guidelines to do so. As with local sales, all CBD to be shipped must contain less than 0.3% THC or it is considered marijuana and illegal to sell and ship. It must also only be derived from hemp plants, not from cannabis plants.
CBD products can be shipped by many major logistics providers, including the USPS and carriers like UPS, DHL, and FedEx.
To ship via USPS, parcels must include a signed statement from the mailer’s own letterhead and include the wording text “I certify that all information furnished in this letter and supporting documents are accurate, truthful, and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information or omits information relating to this certification may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties, including fines or imprisonment.”
The seller must also be in possession of a license by the United States Department of Agriculture to ship these products, and the shipment should include a lab report stating the concentration of THC contained within the packaged products.
Private third-party shippers may have their own requirements for shipping these products, so be sure to educate yourself on these policies prior to shipping to avoid any unnecessary complications. For example, UPS will not accept shipments of hemp no matter the THC concentration if it originates at a location that sells marijuana or marijuana products. UPS also reserves the right to dispose of packages it deems to contain illegal shipments of marijuana and to discontinue service to any shipper who is found to be shipping marijuana.
In addition to these guidelines, the shipper is required to maintain compliance documents for two years regarding the contents of the CBD product they are shipping. Many logistics providers also require that the label and packaging of the parcel not reveal that the contents include any CBD products.
Shipping and storing CBD oil and its products can be a bit confusing, but it doesn’t have to be if you take the time to educate yourself on the laws and policies surrounding this popular derivative ingredient.
Shipfusion sets your business on autopilot and combines flexible, reliable fulfillment with powerful, real-time technology. Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment centers across the US and Canada– making it easy to manage your eCommerce business. For more information on CBD Fulfillment, contact one of our fulfillment specialists today.
The Latest Look at CBD Distribution and Fulfillment Requirements
Great news: CBD oil stays fresh for a year or longer.
Not-so-great news: CBD information doesn’t.
As federal and state authorities continue to refine their regulatory stance on a wide variety of industrial hemp issues, the latest advice can lose its accuracy in a matter of months. All of which can make it tough for companies like yours to remain compliant with CBD warehouse and fulfillment requirements.
Thankfully, Amware Fulfillment has got your back. We’ve taken the time to collect some of the latest CBD news and updated this handy Q&A article on CBD warehouse and fulfillment operations.
Is it currently legal for companies that market CBD products to ship CBD oil or industrial hemp products to every state?
Yes. However any CBD product you ship must be derived from hemp rather than marijuana, and as such it must contain less than 0.3% THC. Anything more than that makes it marijuana. A USDA interim rule that was issued in late 2019 made it easier for companies to ship CBD and industrial hemp nationally.
This is all still true. A final rule announced in 2021 by the USDA affirmed its support of the interstate transportation of legal hemp.
Do all parcel carriers (DHL, Fed Ex, UPS and the USPS) ship CBD and other hemp products?
You’re in luck. All four of the national parcel carriers now ship CBD products.
This remains true and is crucial for shippers who want to choose from the widest possible range of reliable and economical parcel shipping options.
The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act did make it more difficult to mail vaping products. In response to the act, the USPS, as well as FedEx and UPS, announced that they would not mail any vaping products or liquids.
Are there any special requirements for shipping CBD oil and other hemp products?
The parcel carriers who accept CBD shipments have some primary requirements:
- All products shipped must contain less than 0.3% THC level.
- Shippers must ensure they’re compliant with all federal, state, and local laws that pertain to the manufacturing, distribution, sales, and transportation of hemp.
Some states have more stringent labeling requirements, which means that orders shipped there may need a bit of additional attention in the CBD warehouse before they can be shipped.
All of those requirements still apply. Carriers also continue to have their own guidelines. For instance, USPS requires a sender to keep records demonstrating compliance with applicable laws, such as copies of producer and processor licenses, for at least 3 years following the mailing date.
Among its guidelines, UPS will not ship any CDB or other hemp products that come from a location that sells marijuana or marijuana products.
Suppliers should maintain their relevant licenses for industrial hemp production. Routine lab testing of CBD products can ensure that the THC level remains within legal limits.
There have been stories about the seizure of packages or truckloads containing hemp in some states. Is that still an issue?
Although the 2018 Farm Bill permits the use of industrial hemp nationwide, it doesn’t supersede any state or local laws that pertain to the same subject. Much like some local municipalities have laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol, some states still can (and do) choose to exercise strong restrictions related to transportation of hemp within their borders.
It is within states’ legal rights to make life tougher on hemp shippers by requiring costly transportation licenses or permits.
States and cities can still restrict the sale or production of hemp-based products within their borders, but they cannot restrict the transportation of those products through their borders.
However, although states are prohibited from stopping the interstate transportation of hemp, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance noted in 2022 that there are inconsistencies in how the transportation of hemp is treated by enforcement authorities at the state level due to differences in state laws, enforcement policies and varying legal classifications of hemp. Consequently, the alliance has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to amend its regulations and require interstate transporters of hemp to carry shipping documents that promote a more uniform treatment across states, such as a lab testing report for the hemp, a grower’s license for the hemp being transported, contact information for the buyer and seller, and the invoice/bill of lading.
Do CBD oils and other hemp products require special material handling, parcel handling, or CBD warehouse fulfillment protocols and are these subject to change?
If the CBD or hemp product is edible, it’s a food-grade product that needs to be stored at a food-grade warehousing facility.
It also depends on whether your product has a sell-by or best-by date, because that will make efficient inventory control and picking procedures like first in/first out considerably more important.
Traceability is also key, especially if your CBD product is certified organic and your company wants to stay compliant with farm-to-shipping documentation requirements.
Sound inventory rotation and lot control processes are as important as ever in the CBD warehouse, both in terms of preserving CBD products’ efficacy and ensuring product traceability (which is important in the event of a recall.)
Some hemp-based products, like CDB oil, also come in breakable containers, so using best dunnage and packaging practices is recommended – like tightly packing boxes with paper pods made of craft paper, which can absorb the oil on the off chance that a bottle breaks in transit.
Are there any other CBD warehouse, fulfillment and shipping best practices you’d recommend?
As a rule, we recommend companies consider adopting some of the smart practices that are often used for the shipping of high-value products – including use of generic packaging that doesn’t advertise what’s actually inside packages, using tamper-proof packaging materials, and working with providers whose employees have been carefully screened and background checked.
It also might be smart to consider housing your product with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) or CBD warehouse company that can provide value-added services like kitting and packaging. That way if federal, state or local authorities require you to make a modification to your product packaging or labeling, these 3PL employees can switch your packaging out in the warehouse rather than having to ship it back to you so you can do the same.
All of this advice still applies – and some of it has come in handy for some of our CBD clients, who are now being tasked with affixing different labels for packages that are being shipped to Florida. Amware is handling the application of those labels in its fulfillment center.
Any other advice on CBD warehouse and distribution requirements?
This landscape is constantly changing, so we encourage you to monitor the latest reports from leading hemp industry news outlets, key lobbying and industry groups such as the National Hemp Association, and the CBD industry’s compliance experts. In addition, Hemp Industry Daily closely tracks developments in the industry.
Consulting with legal experts can help sort through the complex issues surrounding CBD warehousing and distribution. In addition, keep Amware on your radar screen. We’re a proud CBD warehouse and fulfillment company for a number of clients and are closely monitoring the landscape.
Direct CBD Warehousing and Distribution Experience
While it’s important to stay up to speed with regulatory and carrier updates, there’s no substitute for direct experience handling and shipping CBD products.
PureKana, a fast-growing wellness company, is one of several Amware customers that market CBD products. We handle the company’s national CBD product distribution from an LA-area fulfillment center.
PureKana Operations Manager Todd Winnie says the best benefit of the shift to Amware Fulfillment has been the greater sense of confidence it’s brought to the whole PureKana team – from Sales to Customer Service to Finance. “We know we can grow aggressively and expand our warehouse network nationally without worrying whether our fulfillment partner can keep up.”
Want to learn more about this CBD warehouse and fulfillment case? Read the full case study or contact Amware to speak to one of our fulfillment specialists.