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VERIFY: Can you legally use CBD oils in Florida?

“It’s a little bit hazy at the moment."

CBD oils are commonly used to treat things like chronic pain and anxiety.

The oils are derived from the hemp plant and its cousin, marijuana. 

Last year Congress approved the use of hemp-based products, such as CBD oils with small amounts of THC-- less than one percent. Hemp was removed from the government's list of illegal drugs. CBD oils do not contain enough THC to get someone high. 

So if federal law deemed CBD oils ok, Fit must be legal in Florida, right? It is not that simple. The important thing to remember here is the amount of THC in the oil and timing.

CBD Oils with 0.3% THC are legal under federal law, however, law enforcement in Florida can still arrest you for possession and use right now.

“It’s a little bit hazy at the moment," said Finley Williams, criminal defense attorney.

Criminal Defense Attorney Finley Williams and the law offices of John Phillips have already fielded five cases in the last month from people, some arrested for having oils they thought were legal because of federal law.

This past session, Florida’s legislature passed Senate Bill 1020 which will allow the use of CBD oils that contain up to 0.3% THC, but will not be legal until after July 1.

“Currently, CBD oil is illegal to possess, after July first it will be legal," Williams said.

If you have a prescription, you can use the oils now, but you will want to have your prescription on you.

“Unfortunately law enforcement is a little slow to catch up on their field tests, unless you have the prescription on you, aren’t going to know if it’s under 0.3 or over 0.3.”

Hester Burkhalter from Tennessee was arrested in April when security at Disney discovered the CBD oil on her.

The woman claimed she had a doctor’s note for the oil and that it was for her arthritis. Charges were dropped, but Burkhalter is suing Disney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

CBD oils are still illegal without a prescription, so you might be wondering how companies can sell them. Williams said they're allowed because the oils are not being purchased and produced in Florida.

“Most of this stuff is coming in from out of state, the gas stations and other people are buying it legally from out of state and then just having it shipped to them and selling it because there is the confusion between the federal bill and the state bill," Williams said.

Until Florida law matches Federal law in July, CBD oils remain illegal.

First Coast News can verify CBD oils are legal under Federal law, but illegal under Florida law for now. After July 1, you will legally be able to be in possession of the oils.

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