Alaska has been hit by a massive wave of CBD products recently. Wellness drinks, edibles, and a large variety of non-consumable items have suddenly appeared in cafes, restaurants, and even Walmart locations. Are those products really legal, though?
Alaska’s CBD industry is currently booming, but that doesn’t mean that the products being sold are legal. We’ll tell you why over the course of the next few sections.
In this section, we’ll go over the laws and regulations that are currently confusing a lot of Alaska’s residents.
Is CBD Legal In Alaska?
CBD is technically legal in Alaska. There aren’t any laws against owning or selling CBD. However, all of the CBD products in the state are actually illegal right now.
That’s because the Alaskan government hasn’t launched its industrial hemp program yet. State officials have started the process to legally create an industrial hemp program, but there still aren’t any legally grown hemp plants in the state. That means that all of the CBD products you can find on store shelves are made from hemp plants that were not grown legally, and all of those products are completely illegal. CBD must be extracted from plants that are grown by a licensed industrial hemp program for it to be legal in just about any state.
Why Is CBD Still Being Sold?
Despite all the state’s current products being illegal, they still flood store shelves, and dining establishments continue to offer CBD menu items. Why is that happening? Well, to put it bluntly, the police don’t care about CBD, and neither do the Alaskan agencies that have power over it. It’s not a major priority to them, and Alaska’s regulatory agencies are already spread out thin due to the state’s secluded location and size.
Since the police aren’t actively trying to remove illegal products from store shelves, and regulatory agencies aren’t issuing warnings or fines, store owners can do whatever they want, and consumers can buy whatever they want.
Can I Import Legally Grown CBD?
You might be thinking that you can get your hands-on legal CBD products by simply ordering them online, but you can’t do that. The United States Post Office is currently preventing CBD products from being mailed to Alaska. Alaska doesn’t have an industrial hemp program, and until the state does have one, Alaska’s residents cannot receive hemp-derived products.
Some people get around this rule, though. Non-government mailing services aren’t as up to date on CBD laws, and they frequently ship CBD products to stores and consumers illegally. However, you risk having your products confiscated if you take that route.
Where Does That Leave Me?
We just spent several paragraphs telling you that all of the CBD products you see in Alaska are illegal. So, you might be under the impression that you can’t buy them. You can buy them. Technically, you will be breaking the law if you purchase any CBD products right now, but that hasn’t stopped anyone else, and the state’s government doesn’t care. While it is technically illegal, you are very unlikely to be punished for buying or selling CBD products.
If you want to stay on the safe side of the law, you can do so by simply waiting. Right now, CBD products are illegal due to Alaska’s lack of an industrial hemp program. However, the state is currently developing an industrial hemp program, and legal products will end up on store shelves very soon.
If The Products Are Illegal, Are They Safe?
This is something that you should actually worry about. State officials may not care if you purchase CBD products that were made with illegal plants, but your health may be on the line.
Usually, very relaxed laws are good for the CBD industry. However, Alaska’s regulations are so lenient that you can easily end up buying something that is low-quality or made in a dangerous way. That fact is causing some concern for regulatory agencies in Alaska.
First, since the plants used to make Alaska’s CBD products aren’t grown legally, and the products made from them aren’t regulated, manufacturers can do whatever they want. That means that they can choose to put very small amounts of CBD into your CBD oil, and you’ll essentially end up drinking vegetable oil that is overpriced.
You also have to worry about CBD products that are improperly made. Extracting CBD is a process that must be done very carefully, and it has to be done properly. If you buy a product that was made in some guy’s basement, you can end up ingesting chemicals and all kinds of other nasty things very easily.
We’re not saying that you should freak out every time you see a CBD product, but you should be cautious, and if you buy a product, you should make sure to figure out how and where it was made.
This won’t be an issue once the state’s industrial hemp program is fully launched. The illegal products will be replaced with the state’s CBD products.
When Will The Products Be Made From Legally-Grown Hemp?
It’s hard to determine when Alaska’s industrial hemp program will fully launch. Alaska’s state officials have already submitted a plan to the federal government, but they have to wait for a response before they can start doing anything.
After the federal government responds to the submitted plans and approves them, state officials will be able to start building cultivation centers, and then they’ll have to license growers. After that has all been done, it’ll take a few months for the plants to mature enough to have their CBD extracted.
The process doesn’t take too long, but you shouldn’t expect to see any products on store shelves until the earlier months of 2020.
Federal laws really don’t affect Alaska’s CBD industry too much. The state’s officials don’t want to enforce the FDA’s guidelines, and while all of the state’s products are illegal, state officials aren’t punishing anyone.
However, the federal government doesn’t really support CBD. The FDA is entirely against it, and the legislative branch doesn’t really care about adjusting the laws.
That has affected the CBD industry across the nation. It’s difficult for distributors to transport products to stores and warehouses, and it’s even more difficult for normal consumers to travel via plane or car while in possession of CBD.
How To Use It
When you read this section, we want you to remember that any of the products you read about are completely illegal until an industrial hemp program is launched in Alaska. You can buy them, and no one will mess with you for doing so, but it is still a crime. If you are morally against doing that, or if you are worried that Alaska’s law enforcement officers might suddenly decide to punish people, you should stay away from all the products we list.
With that being said, we’re not going to focus on a lot of specific CBD products. You can buy anything in Alaska, and that gives you the freedom to try different types of products. So, we’ll talk about the different categories that you must choose from. If you decide that a specific category appeals to you, try several different products within that category to find your favorite!
Wellness drinks are extremely popular in the more urban parts of Alaska. They’re basically just normal drinks with a little bit of CBD mixed in. For example, you can go to a coffee shop, and you can order your favorite drink like you would normally. However, you can pay a small fee to have several milligrams of CBD mixed in. At one coffee shop, the CBD fee is only two dollars.
Kombucha bars, taverns, and other places are also offering to add CBD to their drinks. Paying a few extra bucks for CBD can add up, though. If you want to save a little money, you can buy canned wellness drinks that taste delicious. They’re usually cheaper than cocktails and fancy coffees, and you can stock your fridge with them for a fair price.
Wellness drinks only make up a small fraction of what the CBD industry has to offer. You can also find lotions, topical creams, bath bombs, edible oils, facial creams, and other products very easily. The creams and bath bombs are usually used to help with pain and insomnia, but the different cosmetic items can be used to prevent aging and skin problems. You’ll want to find something that you’re comfortable using, but don’t be afraid to branch out a bit.
If you currently use cigarettes, cigars, dip products, patches, or e-juice products, and you want to quit, you’ll be happy to know that all of those things have CBD alternatives. The alternatives don’t contain any nicotine or tobacco, but the relaxing effects of the CBD they contain can help you fight cravings, and the CBD will keep you from getting crabby.
Alaska’s CBD products may be illegal right now, but the state is easily the most CBD-friendly state around. There are some negative points that stem from that leniency, but those will be taken care of once the state develops an industrial hemp program. Luckily, the state should have one very soon.