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CBD Oil Shipping Guide: How and Where Can You Legally Ship CBD?

Woman applying a shipping label to a package

The popularity of CBD-based products has skyrocketed in the US in recent years. CBD has experienced a meteoric rise from a virtually unknown compound to rock-star status in the health and wellness market. That’s excellent news for those interested in starting a business selling CBD-based products. The global CBD market is valued at $2.8 billion. But one question that often comes up is the legality of shipping CBD in the US and abroad. 

In this post, we’ll explain how to ship CBD oil across state lines, the legality of shipping CBD-based products national and internationally, regulations for USPS and private shipping companies, and how to properly package products for mailing.

Can You Mail CBD Oil Legally?

The short answer is yes, provided your CBD products are hemp-based. It’s important to note that CBD can also be derived from the marijuana plant. Marijuana, the close cousin of the hemp plant, remains illegal at the federal level. Your CBD products also can’t contain more than 0.3% THC, the naturally occurring psychoactive compound found in both marijuana and hemp plants. 

The USPS has issued detailed guidance on how to legally mail hemp and hemp-based products. According to USPS regulations, CBD can be mailed provided the following two conditions are met:

  1. The mailer complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws (such as the Agricultural Act of 2014 and the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018) pertaining to hemp production, processing, distribution, and sales.
  1. The mailer retains records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than 2 years after the date of mailing.

It’s unlikely you’ll be asked to present lab reports or any other documentation listed above to mail the products. But the regulations state you may be required to present them if there’s a question about the item’s mailability or the legality of the recipient to receive it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so keep these handy each time you’re preparing to ship a batch of orders.

Can You Mail Hemp Legally?

Some online retailers also sell raw hemp or other hemp-based products. It’s common for questions to arise about how to legally ship these products to consumers. Regulations regarding mailing raw hemp or other hemp-based products through the USPS are the same as those outlined above for CBD oils and other CBD-based products. Nothing in your order can exceed 0.3% THC, and you’ll need to be prepared with documentation to prove you’re operating legally. An example of documentation that may be requested would be third-party testing results verifying the products you’re shipping contain less than 0.3% THC.

Shipping CBD or Hemp with UPS and FedEx

Recent service delays with the USPS may have you considering using a private shipping service like UPS or FedEx to ensure on-time deliveries. It’s legal to ship CBD-based products like CBD oils, as well as hemp, provided your products have THC contents below 0.3% and have been derived from hemp plants and not their psychoactive relative, the marijuana plant. 

How to Package and Ship CBD Oil

Getting CBD oil or other CBD-based products properly labeled and ready for shipping requires a little more prep work than your average online order. Here’s how to do it like a pro. 

  1. Get your paperwork in order – Have the documentation showing your products are legally compliant ready to present if asked. This documentation includes those things listed in the USPS regulations noted earlier, as well as things like third-party lab results showing the product contains less than 0.3% THC.
  1. Prepare the products for shipping – If you’re shipping CBD oil, you’ll want to make sure it’s well-protected. Wrap the packaging in a thick layer of bubble wrap, and place it in a shipping box filled with packing peanuts. This setup will give it the best chance of arriving at its final destination undamaged. Good packaging is especially important if you’re shipping internationally. 
  1. Drop the package off or schedule a pickup – Once your product is packaged up, just drop it off at your nearest post office or UPS/FedEx store. Alternately, you can schedule your courier of choice to pick it up at your home or business location. 

Can You Ship CBD Oil Internationally?

CBD and other hemp-based products aren’t just popular in the United States; it’s an international trend. So can you mail CBD oil overseas? The answer to that depends on where it’s going. Some countries like Canada have stringent laws about selling CBD products from the US. Legally selling CBD products to Canadians requires a lengthy and complicated application process with Health Canada, their licensing agency. Unless you’re dead set on making inroads into the Canadian market, you’re likely to find the red tape outweighs any potential benefits.

Other countries like the UK allow CBD products shipped from the US, provided the product complies with UK law and doesn’t contain more than 1 mg of THC, regardless of how large the container is. CBD products remain illegal in some countries, like the UAE and Malaysia. 

If you plan to sell CBD oil outside of the US, you must understand the regulations of the countries you’re shipping it to before you make the sale. Failing to properly understand what’s legal and what’s not in other countries has consequences ranging from a fine to jail time. 

Shipping CBD Requires Knowing and Following Regulations

Selling CBD oils and other hemp-based products online can be a fun and profitable way to start an online business. But shipping CBD across state lines and internationally comes with some important caveats. Knowing and following the regulations for legally shipping CBD oil and other CBD-based products will help keep you on the right side of the law, saving time and money in potential legal headaches and ensuring your company prospers.

Frontier Label has helped many CBD companies create high-quality labels for their products. Our experts would be happy to talk to you and help you with your unique needs — whether that’s helping you decide on the right labels for your CBD products or talking over your packaging options as you’re getting started. Let’s connect.

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