Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Vermonters Need Not Fear State Prosecution For Simple Possession Of Hemp Oil Products

April 15, 2015

Contact: William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, (802) 828-3166

Recently, the Attorney General’s Office was contacted by parents concerned about the legality, under state law, of their receipt and/or possession of a specific cannabis oil product used to treat children with seizure disorders and other medical conditions. The cannabis oil product at issue is made from cannabis which is high in cannabidiol (CBD) but low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and referred to generically as “CBD oil.”

CBD is a component of cannabis believed by some to have therapeutic benefit in treating some medical conditions, including seizure disorders. THC is the component of cannabis responsible for its intoxicating effects. Typically, strains of cannabis (marijuana) that are used for recreational purposes have higher concentrations of THC. Strains of cannabis with a THC level of 0.3 percent or lower qualify as hemp under Vermont law. Under Title 6, sections 562 and 563, hemp is an agricultural product which may be lawfully grown as a crop, produced, possessed, and commercially traded in Vermont.

The specific cannabis oil product parents inquired about is manufactured in Colorado. The Colorado supplier has provided laboratory test results showing the CBD oil product contains a THC concentration of below 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Accordingly, under state law the cannabis oil can be lawfully possessed as hemp, and Vermonters need not fear state criminal or civil penalties for receiving direct shipments for their personal use.

Vermonters are reminded that growing, producing, possessing, and trading cannabis with a THC concentration of greater than 0.3 percent is only allowable as set forth by statutes governing Medical Marijuana. Further, the Attorney General strongly suggests that in using any substances for medicinal purposes, Vermonters should do so only after consultation with qualified medical personnel. Finally, the Attorney General emphasizes that these statements relate only to state, and not federal law. Under federal law, hemp possession, production, and trade, is only allowable by certain parties for specific research purposes.

Last modified: May 24, 2018