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Utah, most commonly known as the “Salt Lake State” or “The Beehive State,” has a mix of conservative and liberal policies when it comes to cannabis. The Cannabis sativa L. family of plants includes marijuana and hemp, which is why these two species of plants often get the same bad rap. However, Utah doesn’t see them that way.
Since 2014, hemp has grown in the state under the Industrial Hemp Research Program. Then on March 24, 2020, HB 425 went into effect which defined and outlined the Medical Marijuana Program for Utah residents.
As you can see, the state is making positive strides towards the acceptance of hemp as an agricultural crop and as a plant that can produce non-psychoactive CBD-based products.
Also, its acceptance and understanding of medical cannabis are growing. And now residents with qualifying conditions have a chance to access this natural plant medicine from local state dispensaries.
While these are all wins to celebrate, Utah’s laws do come with a few restrictions, which we’ll get into. In addition, we’ll cover the ins and outs of hemp flower in Utah, whether or not you can buy, smoke, or consume it.
Utah’s Industrial Hemp Program
Utah Governor, Gary Herbert, signed House Bill 105 on March 20, 2014. This Bill gave universities and the Utah Department of Agricultural and Food (UDAF) the “green light” on growing industrial hemp for agricultural and research purposes.
Then, four years after the 2014 Farm Bill went into effect, the ‘updated’ Farm Bill of 2018 opened the door for commercial growers and farmers to grow hemp. Today, those interested in growing hemp must apply for a license with the UDAF.
Licenses are set up for people who want to cultivate and process hemp. And those who are interested in marketing and selling hemp-based products must register them with the Department.
Also, the UDAF makes sure all hemp growers follow the regulations set forth in the Hemp Program. And they play a big part in ensuring hemp crops meet the definition of industrial hemp as outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill. One of the biggest requirements of remaining compliant with the Bill is to keep the percentage of Delta-9 THC less than or equal to 0.3%. Any crop that tests higher than this amount must be destroyed.
Approved CBD Products in Utah
Although industrial hemp is beginning to integrate into Utah’s culture, the state is taking a conservative approach with its ‘approved and non-approved’ products list.
For instance, to register a hemp-derived CBD product with the UDAF, it must have clear labeling and list the CBD dosage in each serving and in total. Otherwise, the department has the authority to reject it.
Here’s a list of approved products:
- Capsules & tablets
- Topicals like creams, salves, and lotions
- Concentrated oil
- Transdermal patches and others
- Rectangular or cube-shaped gummies (no bears)
- Sublingual drops >
- Liquid shots
- CBD powdered drink mixes
- Mints — but they must be labels as dissolvable tablets
- Pet products
For all individuals seeking approval of their hemp-based products, they must present Certificates of Analysis (COAs) to the UDAF. These are reports generated by lab techs after testing a hemp product. At a minimum, the department wants to see the following information presented on the COAs.
- Cannabinoid profile
- Batch ID number
- Date sample was received and then tested
- Method of analysis for each test conducted
- A picture of the substance tested
- A test for pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, and microbials
It’s great to see these kinds of policies. Not every state with a Hemp Farming Program in place requires lab testing of toxins, impurities, and other contaminants. This requirement assures safe, healthy, precisely labeled CBD products.
Now, it’s time to talk about the specific items that local Utah business owners can’t sell in their storefronts.
- CBD edibles, candy, chocolate bars, etc.
- CBD inhalers
- Hemp flower
- Hemp honey
- CBD water or sports drinks
Most of this article is about hemp flower in Utah and discussing whether hemp flower is illegal or legal. So, you might have noticed hemp flower is under the ‘non-approved’ list. But this only applies to Utah business owners who want to sell it. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t buy it elsewhere.
The 2018 Farm Bill clears this up for us. According to this Bill, the sale of hemp-derived products, including CBD flower are legal in the U.S. The main requirement is that the hemp buds (and this applies to all products, not just flower), must contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.
As such, you might not find CBD nugs for sale in a local shop or gas station in Utah, but rest assured, you’ll find plenty of great options online. Plus, the majority of companies ship their flower to all 50 states.
Is it legal to buy hemp flower in Utah?
Yes and no. You can buy CBD flower strains with less than 0.3% THC. But, no you cannot buy them at a storefront, convenient store, or other location in Utah. Until the state changes this law, you can order hemp flower online.
If you’re new to CBD flower and buying a product like this via a website, we’ll give you some tips to boost your confidence and lead you in the right direction.
Tips to Buy CBD Flower Online
First, let’s start out by addressing the topic of legality. To find a product online that has less than 0.3% THC, you’ll need to look at the COA report. There will be one COA that corresponds to each of the CBD flower strains you’re curious about. Sadly, not all companies post these reports to their website. In this case, you can reach out and ask them to email you a copy.
Once you get your eyes on this COA, the specific test you want to look for is called the “Cannabinoid Analysis/Profile”. This shows the exact percentage of THC and CBD in the flower strain. There are several THC cannabinoids, like THCa, Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, and others. The one you care about is Delta-9 THC. Make sure the lab tests show this percentage at or between 0.01% and 0.3%.
In some cases there won’t be a percentage at all, but rather will say “>LOQ”. This means that the levels of the cannabinoid are below the limits of quantification. This means you can buy it because it meets the legal requirements.
Next, look at the source of the hemp flower and the growing methods used. It’s ideal to find top-shelf organic CBD nugs that come from licensed and certified farmers in the U.S. As you learned with Utah’s hemp farming program, there are some strict regulations, which are in place to protect the consumer, aka you.
So you found high-quality, organically grown CBD buds with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Now, you’re ready to pick out the strain of choice. Look at the CBD percentage to determine potency and the terpene percentage because that can increase its therapeutic potential. Read about the flavors, aromas, physical characteristics, and potential effects, and whatever speaks to you, go with that.
Is Smoking Hemp Flower Legal in Utah?
Although you can legally buy high-quality hemp flower online, you can’t legally smoke it in Utah. But, please don’t feel left out. Medical marijuana cardholders can’t smoke flower either unless they qualify under some extreme circumstances. Maybe this law will change down the road.
But in the meantime, this is where personal choice comes in. It’s also an opportunity to lean on your creativity and resourcefulness. CBD buds have many uses. You can take your herb and infuse it into oil or butter. From there you can use the final product in your baking recipes, DIY bath products, or even skin care products.
With so many crafty recipes on YouTube and ideas to glean from Pinterest boards, you’re free to create whatever your heart desires.
If you want to grow, cultivate, or process hemp in Utah you must apply for a license. To market and sell a hemp-derived CBD product you must pay a fee to register it with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). Plus, there are specific items you can sell and cannot sell based on the rules outlined by the UDAF.
In terms of CBD flower, you won’t find it for sale at stores in Utah, but it’s available for sale at many hemp flower dispensary’s online. Use the tips provided in this article and you’ll find something that suits you needs to a tee.