A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rule affecting hemp is typical government overreach, plaintiffs in a key case before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals argued last week.
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) contends that growing industrial hemp is legal under the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill’s definition of “cannabis sativa l.” – industrial hemp. Under the DEA rule, any amount of THC present in any cannabis plant places hemp under the Controlled Substances Act. The situation puts a cloud primarily over the CBD market.
“There was a seismic shift in United States cannabis policy in 2014 with the enactment of the Farm Bill, specifically Section 7606, involving industrial hemp,” said Bob Hoban, Hoban Law Group, Denver, who represents HIA. “And that seems to have created some confusion, perhaps, with the Drug Enforcement Administration.”
“We’ve seen this drug code utilized week after week since it’s enactment to seize, to cause criminal enforcement against lawful operators who require no DEA registration,” Hoban said. Just days before the hearing in the case Tennessee officials closed 23 stores that were selling CBD.
A decision in the case, Hemp Industries Association v. Drug Enforcement Administration, could come by the end of the year.