The best answer to "Is it legal to buy US CBD from Canada online?" is "No." It is not legal to buy US hemp online and ship it to Canada because they have totally different regulatory standards. For some time, Canada's hemp and CBD policies were unclear. Now they have a very stringent process for CBD and hemp flower sales and manufacturing under Canadian hemp laws.
Canadian Hemp Laws: Selling US CBD in Canada
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In order for US CBD companies to legally sell their products in Canada, they must apply for approval from Health Canada and manufacture products under those regulations. Canadian hemp laws classify hemp and CBD under the same regulations they use for marijuana.
In addition to having specific products registered and approved, US CBD companies that want to sell products in Canada also need to get a license to import their products. Canadian hemp laws are very detailed and have strict requirements to be met.
The process of getting approval for CBD and hemp products in Canada is not unlike applying to the US FDA for novel drug approval. It is expensive, time-consuming, and is a major endeavor that is not within reach of most US hemp companies.
Is Hemp Flower Legal in Canada?
Hemp flower cannot be legally sold to Canada from the US for a number of reasons. The most important is that Canada has strict requirements for product approval, labeling, and manufacturing. Only approved hemp strains are legal under Canadian hemp laws.
Canada limits CBD and hemp THC content to 0.3% total THC. Even in the US, many states require total THC less than 0.3% which is less than most smokable hemp flower contains. Smokable hemp must have less than 0.3% delta-9-THC, but THCA levels considered as part of "total THC" can increase total THC to be greater than 0.3% when the product is smoked.
US states that require total THC under 0.3% include: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin
Other Canadian hemp laws for labeling, import permits, product registration and approval, and testing also would need to be met in order to sell US hemp in Canada. Currently, US hemp companies do not have the infrastructure to meet these requirements. There is just a small handful of US hemp companies that are even potentially capable of producing hemp and CBD that could comply and none of those are online retailers.
Canadian Hemp Laws: Can You Ship CBD to the Canada?
No, no unapproved products can be shipped to Canada. These products generally get stuck in customs or confiscated when shipping CBD from the US to Canada is attempted. Canadian hemp laws require companies that ship CBD to Canada to have an importation license and to have their products registered and manufactured under Canadian CBD regulations.
Importing CBD into Canada
Health Canada explains their stict Canadian CBD importation policies saying:
Movement of cannabis and cannabis products between countries is covered by 3 United Nations drug conventions, including the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol.
CBD is currently a controlled substance under the Single Convention. CBD products may therefore only be imported or exported under very specific conditions. Any import or export must meet all of these criteria and may only be done:
- by a holder of a licence issued under the Cannabis RegulationsImporting and exporting CBD products. Health Canada.
- under an import or export permit issued to the licence holder by Health Canada for that shipment
- for a legitimate scientific or medical purpose, as per international agreements