Heading To Florida For A Vacation? Leave Your CBD Oil At Home For Now

When you're on vacation in Florida, it can feel like you're in an entirely different country -- especially where the law concerning CBD products is concerned. If you're planning a trip to Florida any time soon, there are a few things you need to know about the schizophrenic approach of the law toward cannabis products at this time.

Here's why there's so much confusion:

1. CBD products were made legal in the federal system just in 2018.

President Trump decriminalized cannabidiol products that don't contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD products were removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration's schedule of illegal substances, along with industrial hemp. That paved the way for manufacturers to put CBD products on the shelves just about everywhere -- and they're popping up in food, creams, salves, tinctures, oils all over. 

However, the decriminalization only applies to federal law -- not state law. CBD can, and does, remain illegal in some states. Florida is one of them -- although it does allow limited use of CBD products through its medical marijuana program. (If this sounds confusing, remember that it's similar to what's happening with marijuana. It's legal for recreational use in some states but still totally illegal under federal regulations.)

2. Florida's Senate just passed a law that would allow CBD products legally in the state.

Senate Bill 1020 was recently passed through the state's legislature. The bill is designed to both regulate and legalize CBD products for widespread use. The bill was lauded by both advocates for wider availability of marijuana-based products for medical use and industry leaders alike. 

However, SB 1020 isn't a law -- yet. It won't officially become the law in Florida until the state's governor signs the bill. Although he's widely expected to sign the bill, he hasn't done so yet and it still won't take effect until July 1, once he does. 

No doubt, there are a lot of people who saw that the bill passed and don't realize that it isn't already in force -- so that has led to more confusion. Just recently, in fact, a 69-year-old woman who uses CBD oil for her arthritis was arrested by an off-duty police officer working at Disney World. The woman was on vacation from out of state. While the charges were ultimately dropped, it was still a traumatic (and expensive) experience for her.

Ultimately, many criminal defense attorneys see the confusion regarding both marijuana laws and CBD laws as a trap for the unwary -- especially during vacation season when people are traveling to states with unfamiliar laws. If you run into trouble while on your own vacation, make sure to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.