USPS Issues Guidelines for Mailing CBD

The USPS has issued guidelines for mailing hemp CBD.

Mailing cannabis products has always been hazardous and mostly illegal. Even lawful hemp and CBD shipments have routinely gotten seized. Fortunately, on March 4, 2019 the USPS quietly released a guide to mailing hemp derived CBD.

In the “BMA Advisory: Acceptance Criteria for Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil and Products Containing CBD“, a copy of which is embedded below, the USPS acknowledges the legal status of hemp derived CBD and provides temporary “acceptance criteria” for demonstrating when a mailing is compliant with the 2014 Farm Act. According to the USPS, a mailing is compliant when it contains the following documentation:

“1. A signed self-certification statement, subject to the False Statements Act. Statements must be printed on the mailer’s own letterhead, and must include the text, “I certify that all information contained in this letter and supporting documents are accurate, truthful, and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information or omits information relating to this certification may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties, including fines and imprisonment.”

2. The industrial hemp producer possesses a license issued by the Department of Agriculture, for the state where the Post office/ acceptance unit is located, which includes documentation identifying the producer by name and showing the mailer is authorized by the registered producer to market products manufactured by that producer.

3. The industrial hemp, or products produced from industrial hemp, contains a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.”

I have no doubt that this guidance was prepared in response to the legal thumping that the USPS got by my friend and colleague Courtney Moran in the KAB, LLC v. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE case for improperly seizing hemp derived CBD products. In that case, decided on September 21, 2018, the Administrative Law Judge found that, “Congress currently permits the interstate sale, transportation, and distribution of exempt industrial hemp pursuant to the most recent appropriations act, I find that exempt industrial hemp and products derived from exempt industrial hemp are mailable.

The USPS guidance document below acknowledges that the 2018 Farm Bill is now law, that once “fully implemented” it will “modify the mailability criteria for CBD and other cannabis products“, and that the instructions it provides are “temporary“. In other words, the USPS is saying that the regulatory framework for hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill has not yet been created (ie, “fully implemented”), but that when it is in place the USPS will further loosen guidelines and restrictions on mailability of hemp and hemp products, including CBD.

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. However, the USPS appears to be creating a method for allowing more packages to be mailed which otherwise may have been seized or temporarily detained pending further inspection. For this reason, following these guidelines currently appears to be both smart and pragmatic.

Many thanks to my friend and client Justin Fakler of Icaro Plant Science and Rogue Family Farms for sharing this document with me. Justin is, and always will be, a personal VIP.

March 12, 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.

4 comments on “USPS Issues Guidelines for Mailing CBDAdd yours →

  1. Thank you, great info! Regarding point #2, “The industrial hemp producer possesses a license issued by the Department of Agriculture, for the state where the Post office/ acceptance unit is located…” , is that the sender’s state or the receiving state? For example, if I’m a producer with a hemp handler license from the NV Dept of Ag where I am located, is that sufficient to mail interstate or do I need a license in each state I’m sending the products to? Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Taiya. This point (#2) is fairly unclear in the USPS guidance document, but the “Post office/ acceptance unit” appears to be the one located where the mailer is located (ie, you). Since you raised a question about Point #2, I thought I’d also include a question posed on my law firm’s Facebook site by Hemp Report, along with my response: Hemp Report- “OK, so how do retailers ship products that contain CBD? Retailers are not licensed by departments of agriculture.” Me- “Great question. The short answer is that Point #2 by the USPS does not make much sense in the real world. Additionally, from a practical standpoint the USPS does not have a history of seizing finished hemp/CBD products. Rather, it tends to seize hemp flower/biomass and, to a lesser degree, CBD isolate. It is easier to comply with #2 when shipping these products, as opposed to finished goods. Finally, I would take the position that the “producer” is the farmer and that you can comply with this requirement by including the farmer’s state-issued hemp registration/ license in the mailing. Showing that you are authorized by the producer to market the products could be a simple letter from the farmer; however, in the real world sellers of finished goods do not often have a direct relationship so getting a letter is impractical, if not downright impossible. In these circumstances, simply comply as best you can and know that (a) these requirements are not part of the statute, and (b) finished goods rarely get seized. As with most things hemp/CBD this government “guidance” provides some clarity while also creating some additional confusion.”

  2. Would a licensed Industrial Hemp grower sending a field sample via USPS to a testing lab for THC/CBD testing be ok? Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *