23 Dec The DEA’s New Rule on CBD
The DEA has seemed to create quiet a stir in the past few days. On Dec 13th, 2016 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration filed a final rule notice to establish a Controlled Substances Code Number for “marihuana extract,” and subsequently putting marijuana, hemp and their derivatives as Schedule I substances. According to the DEA the new rule creates a new code for extracts of marijuana containing CBD:
“This code number will allow DEA and DEA-registered entities to track quantities of this material separately from quantities of marijuana. This, in turn, will aid in complying with relevant treaty provisions.”
This rule is expected to go into effect Jan 13, 2017 and it has thrown the cannabis industry into an uproar. The reason this has created such an uproar is because this final rule states that CBD extract from the hemp plant is equivalent to CBD extracted from marijuana plant. According to the DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg,
“All extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code.”
This final rule classifies all extracts of cannabis, as a Schedule 1 drug. Other schedule 1 drugs are LSD, ecstasy, heroin. This bureaucratic maneuver is technically beyond the realm of DEA’s authority, according to Rob Hobon, a cannabis lawyer in Denver.
“This action is beyond the DEA’s authority, The DEA can only carry out the law, they cannot create it. Here they’re purporting to create an entirely new category called ‘marijuana extracts,’ and by doing so wrest control over all cannabinoids. They want to call all cannabinoids illegal. But they don’t have the authority to do that.”
One thing that is for certain is the DEA is not allowed to interfere with states that have medical or recreational marijuana laws. This is made possible by the Rohrabacher–Farr medical marijuana amendment, which forbids Justice Department and DEA from spending funds on interfering with states that have medical or recreational marijuana available. Although this bill has be renewed every year, it continues to gain favorability in Congress with each passing year. So, those taking the CBD derived from marijuana or hemp not need to worry that they are in federal violation.
The hemp industry is standing strong that CBD derived from hemp is legal and protected under the 2014 Farm Bill, which specifically separates hemp from marijuana, stating that hemp cannot, by law, contain of .03% THC and explicitly removes hemp and hemp extracts from the list of controlled substances. The DEA’s new final rule is in direct conflict with the Farm Bill, which is already an established law.
The final ruling that DEA just filed seems to simply be an administration move to keep track of the growing number of marijuana products, we have to remember that although it’s legal in some states, marijuana is still federally illegal. Their antiquated spelling of marijuana seems to be a sad attempt to demonize the cannabis plant even further. For now, business continues as usual in the hemp industry and there is no plan on stopping operations for several companies despite the D.E.A.’s newest stance on cannabis extracts containing CBD.