CBD has caused legal confusion around the country for some time, and Nebraska is no different. CBD is derived from the marijuana plant, but is chemically different from THC, the compound associated with getting high. For this reason, many in the Cornhusker State think it is a legal drug, even selling it openly on store shelves. The fact remains though that CBD is still illegal in Nebraska.
The confusion garnered the attention of Nebraska’s Attorney General, Doug Peterson. Upon hearing of the uncertainty surrounding the substance, he issued a memo stating that in Nebraska, CBD is still listed as a schedule I controlled substance in Nebraska’s Uniform Controlled Substance Act. However, the AG also said in the memo that while CBD remains illegal, it is up to each county to determine how they will prioritize it when it comes to prosecuting those that sell or possess it.
“It is time for Nebraska to update their laws,” says John S. Berry, Jr. of Berry Law Firm. “People take CBD to help them with medical ailments and injuries, not to get high. It is not smoked but used as a topical treatment or in oil form, often found in capsules. Keeping it illegal is unnecessary, and targets people in need of treatment.”
Many law enforcement agencies around Nebraska seem to agree, saying that they are aware of the sale of CBD around the state, but they are not likely to do much about it. They say that they too, were confused about this particular law before the AG’s memo, but are still unlikely to charge anyone with possession if they are found with it.
A lawmaker within the state is looking to change the current laws. Senator Justin Wayne recently introduced a bill that would remove CBD from the state’s Controlled Substances Act, making it legal for anyone that wishes to use it.
Until that law, or any new legislation, is passed, CBD will remain illegal for everyone except for two groups. These include researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center that are allowed to produce or possess CBD to study its effect on medical seizures, and those that use a drug product that contains CBD and has been approved by the FDA.