DHL Will Not Ship Lawful Hemp or CBD Products

DHL will not ship Lawful hemp or CBD.

DHL informed a client of mine that it has a policy not to ship hemp or CBD. My client’s interaction with DHL reiterates my view that it is usually best to ship hemp and hemp products through the US Postal Service. For more information on shipping via USPS you can click here and here.

Below is the email my client received from DHL after a number of communications about a hemp/CBD shipment. (Note- identifying information has been redacted.)

“Hi *******,


  • Cannabis/Marijuana and other related products will be denied approval for movement at this time.
  • CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)
  • Medicinal Marijuana
  • Hemp products
  • Due to growing concerns with the possibility of such products to contain THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive constituent in cannabis, other countries are also banning this type of business for import/export.
  • US and foreign regulatory compliance issues, along with potential criminal business prevent us from approving cases of this nature at this time.

Best regards,


Account Manager”

It’s no surprise that DHL’s policy is not to ship marijuana since it is a controlled substance under federal law and the laws of many states. This is imminently reasonable.

However, with respect to lawful hemp and CBD this policy does not make much sense. Pursuant to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill), hemp is not a controlled substance. The Farm Bill’s definition of hemp includes “extracts, derivatives, and cannabinoids”. In fact, the Farm Bill removed hemp-derived THC from the federal Controlled Substances Act. And, the DEA has acknowledged that it is lawful to export cannabis products that do not meet the legal definition of “marijuana” (ie, hemp and hemp extracts, derivatives, and cannabinoids) provided that they are lawful in the destination country.

This policy underscores the fact that the hemp industry has a long way to go for mainstream industries, such as logistics and banking, to accept and service it.

June 19, 2019

Rod Kight is an attorney who represents lawful cannabis businesses. He speaks at cannabis conferences across the country, drafts and presents cannabis legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and maintains the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, where he discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. You can contact him here.



8 comments on “DHL Will Not Ship Lawful Hemp or CBD ProductsAdd yours →

  1. I used to live in Florida, I have a resident in Orlando, also a resident in N.C. so I can go to a Dr,M.D. and get my Cannabis, A lot of people I know do the same thing, N.C. is missing a lot of tax dollars. Let’s get with the program N.C.

  2. I used to live in Florida, I have a resident in Orlando, also a resident in N.C. so I can go to a Dr,M.D. and get my Cannabis, A lot of people I know do the same thing, N.C. is missing a lot of tax dollars. Let’s get with the program N.C.

    I only mentioned this once.

  3. I keep wanting to expand and open a 3rd location. You would not believe how many places for lease I call and get told the loan holding bank for the shopping center won’t allow CBD business to lease there. That is besides Wells Fargo closing my four bank accounts once I got Media coverage about the raid on our stores. The accounts I had in great standing for over 15 years. And then on top of that credit card processors refusing to process for CBD companies.

    I even spoke with one leasing rep on Friday and told her, you know CBD is not a drug anymore. It is a farm commodity. A reporter just asked the federal reserve to clarify to banks that CBD is not Marijuana and should not be treated as such. Hopefully they will release a statement soon to clarify to banks and I can get a new spaced leased to me.

    There is still so much work to do to change things in this industry. But CBD has exploded so much so fast because of the people and word of mouth. I don’t know if there has ever been such an explosive growth of an item in our lifetime as CBD. It is because people find it works. When they do they tell others. There has been no huge grassroots media campaign. Just people finding relief and spreading the word. I am shocked at how many people tell me they have tried CBD lately. And every single one of them heard from word of mouth. A friend, a family member and now even doctors are telling their patients about it.

    We have at least one customer a day coming into the store telling us their doctor said go try some CBD. Almost no one has a negative story to tell us after trying CBD. That is beyond impressive.

    The next few years we will see a lot of change. And it is because if people like you working hard to help change the rules, laws, and perceptions for the rest of the population to all benefit from. Thank you.

  4. What is the word on Fed Ex and UPS? How is CBD being moved in retail then? Did CDB just save the USPS? 😉

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