Don’t worry. It’s good news! Since the 2014 Farm Bill cleared the way for legal hemp cultivation, the U.S. Postal Service has steadily eased burdens on businesses and individuals sending CBD products through the mail.
On June 6, the Postal Service issued another policy update upholding the agency’s position that CBD oil products are legal to mail and further reducing the complexity of the mailing process.
We’ll be examining that policy update in fine detail, excruciating detail, too much detail. But that’s our style. We want to tell you why things happen, not just what happened.
In Defense of the U.S. Postal Service
Green Lotus™ wholeheartedly endorses the U.S. Postal Service. We ship all of our products through the Postal Service, and we’ve never had a problem. Especially praiseworthy are the agency’s efforts to connect with everyday Americans.
Thanks to an ongoing campaign that connects postal workers with movers and shakers at the top of the fashion industry, no federal agency is more in touch with American culture. An enamored public continues to follow trends inspired by the Postal Service, such as knee-high socks, safari hats and dangerously short shorts. Thanks, USPS!
U.S. Postal Service Guidelines on CBD Oil: Risk-Free for Retailers and Individuals
Hemp used to be a schedule I controlled substance, which is strange. Now, hemp is not a controlled substance, yet CBD oil and hemp-derived products are still grouped under “Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail,” which is strange.
Strangeness aside, the U.S. Postal Service’s June 6 revision of Publication 52 is refreshingly simple and uncharacteristically reasonable. Titled “Hemp-based Products,” the new section added to Publication 52 makes two requests. To send hemp-based products through the mail, the “mailer” must:
- comply with federal, state and local laws “pertaining to hemp production, processing, distribution, and sales.”
- retain records of lab reports, compliance documents and licenses.
The “mailer,” in this case, is us. If you shop with us online or receive wholesale orders through our sales department, you are the “addressee.” And the term “addressee” is nowhere to be found in the new section.
So, if you receive CBD oil or hemp-derived products through the mail, the new section does not directly affect you. On our end, the U.S. Postal Service’s update makes it less complicated to mail our products.
That’s a good thing for our retailer partners and individual customers. You receive your orders quickly; and, if an order were to interrupted by a local Postmaster, it’s as simple as ever for us to provide the appropriate documentation to resolve the situation and get the order back on track.
Wait, the Update Mentions “Addressee”
No worries. “Addressee” is not part of the new section, but appears a single time in a preface to the new section (a summary explaining the USPS’s reasoning behind adding the new section). True to our commitment to provide too much detail, here’s the text:
“A mailer is not required to present the documentation at the time of mailing…such documentation may be requested…if there is doubt about the item’s mailability or the addressee’s ability to legally receive it. [emphasis added] This process is consistent with existing regulations governing questions about mailability of restricted matter.”
What does this mean for retailers or individuals who receive CBD products? Thankfully, not much. Look no further than the preceding sentence: “This process is consistent with existing regulations governing questions about mailability of restricted matter.”
The U.S. Postal Service is saying, “Hemp-derived products will be dealt with under the same process as other restricted mail.” That’s a pretty mild statement.
Consider also that Publication 52 lumps in hemp-derived products with items which, by comparison, are far more deserving of the title “restricted” and “hazardous.” Guns, flammable gases, poisonous drugs and live animals travel through the mail every day.
Postmaster: “Team Alpha — get to the Sunflower Shoppe. I want that documentation! If you’ve got time, see where that box of venomous snakes and tank of chlorine gas got off to.”
As an Individual, Can I Send and Receive CBD Oil Shipped Across State Lines?
Yes, you can send and receive CBD oil and hemp-derived products shipped across state lines, for a number of reasons.
Section 10114 of the 2018 Farm Bill states that “No State or Indian Tribe shall prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products.” In the same bill, hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), an action that shifted regulation of hemp-derived products from the Drug Enforcement Aadministration (DEA) to the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA made clear in a legal memorandum that “nothing in Title X of the 2018 Farm Bill prohibits the interstate commerce of hemp or hemp products.”
For additional wisdom, we can look to attorney Rod Kight at Cannabusiness.law. Referring to an earlier set of USPS guidelines issued in March 2019, Kight wrote:
“The fact is that none of the above is actually required under the 2014 or the 2018 Farm Acts. It is legal to mail lawful hemp and CBD regardless of whether a package containing them has the documentation and information discussed above.”
Mr. Kight owes his conclusion in part to the outcome of KAB, LLC v. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, a court case pitting KAB, LLC, a hemp-products distributor, against the U.S. Postal Service.
On Jan. 18, 2018, Inspectors from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) seized a package containing CBD isolate owned by KaB, LLC and refused to return it.
In a decisive win for the hemp industry, an administrative judge ruled in favor of KaB, LLC, ordering that “the contents [CBD isolate] of the mailpiece seized by the USPIS are mailable.”
For individuals, here’s the real gem: “If the USPIS is arguing that the law of a state to which a product is shipped should determine its mailability, I decline to adopt that approach.” In other words, the Postal Service cannot seize a CBD product simply because the product may be illegal in its destination state.
When In Doubt, Let Us Handle It
If you want to send one of our Orange Tinctures, for example, to a friend or loved one, order it from our website. Green Lotus™ products are delivered via priority shipping, so it costs you less.
In the case of our Orange Tincture — yes, it tastes like a freshly picked orange straight from the Archangel Gabriel’s orchard.
We hope this blog was helpful to you, our friends and partners. If we missed anything, let us know!
- Your friends @ Green Lotus™ Hemp