By: Nabil Rodriguez*, J.D.
On March 4, 2019, the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) Business Mail Acceptance (“BMA”) released guidance on mailing hemp-derived CBD. In the “BMA Advisory: Acceptance Criteria for Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil and Products Containing CBD”, the USPS provides temporary “acceptance” criteria for demonstrating when a mailing is compliant with the 2014 Agricultural Act (“2014 Farm Bill”). Pursuant to the advisory, a mailing is compliant when it contains the following documentation:
A signed self-certification statement, subject to the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. § 1001). Statements must be printed on the mailer’s own letterhead, and must include the text, “ I certify that all information contained in this letter and supporting documents are accurate, truthful, and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information or omits information relating to this certification may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties, including fines and imprisonment.” The industrial hemp producer possesses a license issued by the Department of Agriculture, for the state where the Post office/ acceptance unit is located, which includes documentation identifying the producer by name and showing the mailer is authorized by the registered producer to market products manufactured by that producer. The industrial hemp, or products produced from industrial hemp, contains a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
The advisory document further acknowledges that the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act (“2018 Farm Bill”) is now law and that “once the 2018 Farm Bill is fully implemented,” the USPS will modify the mailing criteria for CBD and other cannabis products. Interestingly enough, none of the “acceptance criteria” discussed above is required by the 2014 Farm Bill or 2018 Farm Bill. However, the USPS appears to be creating a method of shipping to prevent potential seizure or temporary detainment of packages containing CBD oil or products containing CBD.
One of the initial questions to come up regarding the advisory is “to whom do I provide the documentation?” After reaching out to the USPS they have indicated the acceptance criteria must be provided to “The Business Mail Entry office or Postmaster office serving your mail location.”
*Nabil Rodriguez is not an attorney