Great news: CBD oil stays fresh for a year or longer.
Not-so-great news: CBD information doesn’t.
As federal and state authorities continue to refine their regulatory stance on a wide variety of industrial hemp issues, the latest advice can lose its accuracy in a matter of months. All of which can make it tough for companies like yours to remain compliant with CBD warehouse and fulfillment requirements.
Thankfully, Amware Fulfillment has got your back. We’ve taken the time to collect some of the latest CBD news and updated this handy Q&A article on CBD warehouse and fulfillment operations.
Is it currently legal for companies that market CBD products to ship CBD oil or industrial hemp products to every state?
Yes. However any CBD product you ship must be derived from hemp rather than marijuana, and as such it must contain less than 0.3% THC. Anything more than that makes it marijuana. A USDA interim rule that was issued in late 2019 made it easier for companies to ship CBD and industrial hemp nationally.
This is all still true. A final rule announced in 2021 by the USDA affirmed its support of the interstate transportation of legal hemp.
Do all parcel carriers (DHL, Fed Ex, UPS and the USPS) ship CBD and other hemp products?
You’re in luck. All four of the national parcel carriers now ship CBD products.
This remains true and is crucial for shippers who want to choose from the widest possible range of reliable and economical parcel shipping options.
The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act did make it more difficult to mail vaping products. In response to the act, the USPS, as well as FedEx and UPS, announced that they would not mail any vaping products or liquids.
Are there any special requirements for shipping CBD oil and other hemp products?
The parcel carriers who accept CBD shipments have some primary requirements:
- All products shipped must contain less than 0.3% THC level.
- Shippers must ensure they’re compliant with all federal, state, and local laws that pertain to the manufacturing, distribution, sales, and transportation of hemp.
Some states have more stringent labeling requirements, which means that orders shipped there may need a bit of additional attention in the CBD warehouse before they can be shipped.
All of those requirements still apply. Carriers also continue to have their own guidelines. For instance, USPS requires a sender to keep records demonstrating compliance with applicable laws, such as copies of producer and processor licenses, for at least 3 years following the mailing date.
Among its guidelines, UPS will not ship any CDB or other hemp products that come from a location that sells marijuana or marijuana products.
Suppliers should maintain their relevant licenses for industrial hemp production. Routine lab testing of CBD products can ensure that the THC level remains within legal limits.
There have been stories about the seizure of packages or truckloads containing hemp in some states. Is that still an issue?
Although the 2018 Farm Bill permits the use of industrial hemp nationwide, it doesn’t supersede any state or local laws that pertain to the same subject. Much like some local municipalities have laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol, some states still can (and do) choose to exercise strong restrictions related to transportation of hemp within their borders.
It is within states’ legal rights to make life tougher on hemp shippers by requiring costly transportation licenses or permits.
States and cities can still restrict the sale or production of hemp-based products within their borders, but they cannot restrict the transportation of those products through their borders.
However, although states are prohibited from stopping the interstate transportation of hemp, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance noted in 2022 that there are inconsistencies in how the transportation of hemp is treated by enforcement authorities at the state level due to differences in state laws, enforcement policies and varying legal classifications of hemp. Consequently, the alliance has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to amend its regulations and require interstate transporters of hemp to carry shipping documents that promote a more uniform treatment across states, such as a lab testing report for the hemp, a grower’s license for the hemp being transported, contact information for the buyer and seller, and the invoice/bill of lading.
Do CBD oils and other hemp products require special material handling, parcel handling, or CBD warehouse fulfillment protocols and are these subject to change?
If the CBD or hemp product is edible, it’s a food-grade product that needs to be stored at a food-grade warehousing facility.
It also depends on whether your product has a sell-by or best-by date, because that will make efficient inventory control and picking procedures like first in/first out considerably more important.
Traceability is also key, especially if your CBD product is certified organic and your company wants to stay compliant with farm-to-shipping documentation requirements.
Sound inventory rotation and lot control processes are as important as ever in the CBD warehouse, both in terms of preserving CBD products’ efficacy and ensuring product traceability (which is important in the event of a recall.)
Some hemp-based products, like CDB oil, also come in breakable containers, so using best dunnage and packaging practices is recommended – like tightly packing boxes with paper pods made of craft paper, which can absorb the oil on the off chance that a bottle breaks in transit.
Are there any other CBD warehouse, fulfillment and shipping best practices you’d recommend?
As a rule, we recommend companies consider adopting some of the smart practices that are often used for the shipping of high-value products – including use of generic packaging that doesn’t advertise what’s actually inside packages, using tamper-proof packaging materials, and working with providers whose employees have been carefully screened and background checked.
It also might be smart to consider housing your product with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) or CBD warehouse company that can provide value-added services like kitting and packaging. That way if federal, state or local authorities require you to make a modification to your product packaging or labeling, these 3PL employees can switch your packaging out in the warehouse rather than having to ship it back to you so you can do the same.
All of this advice still applies – and some of it has come in handy for some of our CBD clients, who are now being tasked with affixing different labels for packages that are being shipped to Florida. Amware is handling the application of those labels in its fulfillment center.
Any other advice on CBD warehouse and distribution requirements?
This landscape is constantly changing, so we encourage you to monitor the latest reports from leading hemp industry news outlets, key lobbying and industry groups such as the National Hemp Association, and the CBD industry’s compliance experts. In addition, Hemp Industry Daily closely tracks developments in the industry.
Consulting with legal experts can help sort through the complex issues surrounding CBD warehousing and distribution. In addition, keep Amware on your radar screen. We’re a proud CBD warehouse and fulfillment company for a number of clients and are closely monitoring the landscape.
Direct CBD Warehousing and Distribution Experience
While it’s important to stay up to speed with regulatory and carrier updates, there’s no substitute for direct experience handling and shipping CBD products.
PureKana, a fast-growing wellness company, is one of several Amware customers that market CBD products. We handle the company’s national CBD product distribution from an LA-area fulfillment center.
PureKana Operations Manager Todd Winnie says the best benefit of the shift to Amware Fulfillment has been the greater sense of confidence it’s brought to the whole PureKana team – from Sales to Customer Service to Finance. “We know we can grow aggressively and expand our warehouse network nationally without worrying whether our fulfillment partner can keep up.”
Want to learn more about this CBD warehouse and fulfillment case? Read the full case study or contact Amware to speak to one of our fulfillment specialists.