Guide for Shipping Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Products

Mar 10, 2020

Under the 2014 and 2018 USDA Farm Bills, certain hemp and hemp-derived CBD products can be shipped via USPS, FedEx and UPS— but only if certain conditions are met. Below is summarized guidance from those companies.

USPS Hemp Guidance

In June 2019, the United States Postal Service issued external guidance through its Postal Bulletin that overrode internal guidance issued in March 2019 for the mailing of hemp-derived CBD products. Hemp and hemp-based products, including CBD with the THC concentration of such hemp (or its derivatives) not exceeding a 0.3 percent limit are permitted to be mailed only when the mailers:

  1. Comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws (including, but not limited to, the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2018 Farm Bill) pertaining to hemp production, processing, distribution, and sales; and

  2. Retain records establishing compliance with such laws, including laboratory test results, licenses, or compliance reports, for no less than two years after the date of mailing.

Unlike under the internal guidance, this documentation no longer needs to be presented at the time of mailing, but may be requested either at the time of mailing or on a later date if there is doubt as to the hemp-derived CBD product’s mailability or the intended recipient’s ability to legally receive it.

This June 2019 guidance from USPS states that the guidance is temporary in nature and will be revised once the 2018 Farm Bill is fully implemented and there is more clarity around the circumstances under which hemp-derived CBD oil/products can be mailed. Since the USDA issued regulations related to the 2018 Farm Bill, we anticipate this guidance will be updated.

FedEx Hemp Guidance

On January 20, 2020, FedEx updated its terms and conditions to allow the shipment of hemp-derived CBD products that are less than 0.3% THC. It continues to ban the shipment of the following:

  • Marijuana, as defined by U.S. federal law, 21 U.S.C. 802(16), including marijuana intended for recreational or medicinal use and marijuana-derived cannabidiol (“CBD”); any product with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC") concentration of more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, except as set out in 21 CFR 1308.35; and synthetic cannabinoids.

  • Raw or unrefined hemp plants, or their subparts (including, but not limited to, hemp stalks, hemp leaves, hemp flowers and hemp seeds), except as set out in 21 CFR 1308.35

UPS Hemp Guidance

UPS does not permit the shipping of hemp in plant form. It does accept products made from hemp (including CBD) for shipment, only as permitted by all applicable state and federal laws. “It is the responsibility of the Shipper to ensure compliance with all such laws, including the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. §321, et seq.”


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