Laws and Regulations

States Can’t Agree on CBD

Written by Nicholas Demski

Evil, Harmless, or Therapeutic?

What’s CBD, Y’all?

Let’s be honest, there are some states that are so far behind in times, they have no idea what CBD is (except that it’s illegal). When they hear the word ‘Cannabis,’ they still think of Reefer Madness. While all things cannabis are outlawed in more states than this list, these particular states have zero legislation that acknowledges any medical benefits to Cannabis. This goes against research piling up across the world that points to the efficacy of cannabinoids as medicine. Even the World Health Organization has declared that CBD has health benefits with minimal risks (1). Here are the two states that are still stuck in the mid-20th-century when it comes to CBD laws (2).

  1. Idaho
  2. Kansas

Figure 1 CBD: A chemical ice pack, or melts your brain?

Totally Illegal

These states know what CBD is and they don’t like it. Here are the states that clutch their pearls over the thought of cannabis as medicine.

  1. Indiana (except for epilepsy treatment)
  2. Nebraska
  3. South Carolina (except for epilepsy treatment)
  4. South Dakota
  5. Tennessee (except for seizure treatment)
  6. Utah (except for epilepsy treatment)

Available as Medicine or Partially Decriminalized

Welcome to some sense of reality. CBD is a medicine and these states know it. They’ve seen drops in prescription drug usage, cannabis use among young people, and overdose deaths related to opioids (2). Here are the states that allow for medicinal CBD use or have decriminalized it.

Alabama Iowa New Hampshire Rhode Island
Arizona Kentucky New Jersey Texas
Arkansas Louisiana New Mexico Virginia
Connecticut Maryland New York West Virginia
Delaware Michigan North Carolina Wisconsin
Florida Minnesota North Dakota Wyoming
Georgia Mississippi Ohio Rhode Island
Hawaii Missouri Oklahoma  
Illinois Montana Pennsylvania  

Available for Adult-Use

Bastions of wisdom, states that allow adult-use CBD without a doctor’s recommendation are leading the charge into the world of CBD. Though they remain a minority, these states can hold their nose up at the rest of them. And they should; their air has that pleasant, skunky aroma of freedom and success. Here are the states that think people should be able to decide what plants to put in their bodies.

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Maine
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Nevada
  7. Oregon
  8. Vermont
  9. Washington

We are all looking forward to the day when every state has a place on the final list.


  1. “WHO Says CBD is Medically Beneficial, Cites Nearly Zero Health Risks.” Accessed April 4, 2018.
  2. “Kansas-Marijuana Policy Project.” Accessed April 4, 2018.
  3. “In States with Medical Marijuana, Painkiller Deaths Drop by 25 Percent.” Accessed April 3, 2018.

About the author

Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski's latest venture is He's a poet, author, cannabis writer, and budding entrepreneur. You can follow his travels with his daughter on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram @TheSingleDadNoma