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DEA and Hemp

Hemp attorneys vs the DEA over new CBD ruling

In the ongoing saga of the DEA versus the CBD oil and hemp industry, lawyers filed a judicial review action against the DEA. Denver based Hoban Law Group alleges that the DEA overstepped its bounds in its updated coding of CBD. It has labeled it a “marihuana extract rule” and maintains it is a Schedule I drug on the CSA.

This announcement caused shock waves throughout the CBD oil  and hemp-based market in the US. Hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars might be at risk. Producers, sellers and consumers are very nervous about a change in classification, making their products federally illegal. Hoban attorneys also filed an administrative petition, formally requesting that the definition be rescinded.

There is currently a bill that restricts the government from spending federal funds to prevent medical cannabis states from implementing their laws. As a result, Hoban reassured those in the industry that they did not expect to see an increase in enforcement. But, they cautioned producers to maintain strict processes and to conduct an audit of their businesses to ensure that they are in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Just within the past few days, hemp lawyers announced that they were willing and eager to engage in talks with the DEA. This would require setting up a hearing. So far, there is no word when or if the DEA would agree to a decision on the judicial action or to a hearing. The hemp industry maintains that this new ruling is incorrect. Their intention is to negotiate with the DEA so that both sides are satisfied with the legal definition of CBD oil/hemp.

The DEA maintains that it should be considered a Schedule I drug on the CSA and that would make it federally illegal. The hemp industry disagrees. Just as the hemp based products were gaining traction as more mainstream, entering normal channels of commerce, this ruling has thrown the industry into fear and confusion. Hoban further reiterated that the industry is run professionally and in compliance with safety for the public. They do not believe a “marihuana extract rule” is merited to protect consumers.

This looks to be a lengthy, ongoing situation unless the DEA unexpectedly comes to some arrangement with the hemp industry. Opening briefs are due at the beginning of April. No resolution is expected before 2018.

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