CBD legalization worldwide in 2019


The recent adoption of the 2018 Farm Bill was the most significant win in the history of hemp. The move is seen as the final boost the CBD market will need to become an important global industry in the coming years. However, CBD cannot really become an important global industry if it is only legal in certain states or countries. Where exactly are hemp and CBD in different regions of the world?

Although Europe is often seen as more advanced in cannabis, some countries still have strict marijuana laws. However, CBD is allowed in most countries provided it is derived from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is often defined in Europe as a cannabis plant with less than 0.02% THC.

In countries where medical cannabis is legal, CBD is easily and legally accessible. These countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Other countries don't have specific laws that focus on CBD products, but their strict cannabis laws make it almost impossible to access. These countries include Albania, Bulgaria, Iceland, Serbia and Sweden. If you are in these countries, avoid using hemp products as this can potentially lead to legal problems.

The legalization of CBD and hemp in the United States is complex. For most of the 20th century, CBD operated in a legal gray area in the United States. This was a consequence of strict cannabis laws such as the 1970 controlled substances law, which was created to ban marijuana, among other things.

The law officially created a list of illegal substances and added cannabis and all of its strains to the list. In this way, the CSA killed the hemp industry, although it was known that hemp is not psychoactive. These strict anti-cannabis laws were seen as a retaliation by President Nixon, who was facing violent opposition from the cannabis-friendly hippie movement and opponents of the Vietnam War at the time.

In the 2000s, published studies and easier access to information enabled the public and legislators to better understand the benefits of CBD products. This led to the inclusion of CBD regulatory laws in the Farm Bill 2014. The bill provided for individual states to monitor and regulate laws that allow the cultivation and limited use of CBD from hemp.

Four years later, the 2018 Farm Bill expanded these laws by fully legalizing hemp at the federal level. With the 2018 bill, hemp and its derivatives were effectively removed from the list of federal controlled substances and classified as an agricultural commodity. As a result, CBD will be legal nationwide from 2019.

CBD legality in Latin America

You will be surprised to learn that South America is very cannabis friendly compared to other regions of the world. In 2013, Uruguay was the first modern country to legalize both medical cannabis and recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis is legal in a dozen other Latin American countries, while recreational strains are decriminalized. This means that in countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, hemp and products derived from hemp such as CBD are approved for consumption.

While most South American countries have mild cannabis laws, Latin American countries in the Caribbean and Central America typically have stricter guidelines. In Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Honduras, for example, both medical and recreational forms of cannabis are banned and can have serious legal consequences.

CBD legality in the rest of the world

In the rest of the world, Australia, Thailand, Canada and Jamaica are countries with approved CBD and cannabis laws. While most of the countries listed in this article have very mild cannabis and CBD laws, it should be noted that many only allow their own citizens to benefit from these laws.

Before you land in a country, you should read the specific cannabis and CBD laws to avoid potential legal problems. While most countries are heading towards legalization of CBD, you will be surprised at the laws each country has regarding cannabis, hemp, and CBD.


Beth Edmonds