The prime misnomer about cannabis is, marijuana and Hemp come from Cannabis. The species difference doesn’t mean much to people until they realize marijuana contains more THC and less CBD that hemp plants. Hemp plants contain a large amount of CBD. CBD, also known as cannabinol does not produce psychoactive effects. CBD blocks THC activity. THC or delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound that causes the psychoactive effects of marijuana. The chemical makeup of hemp is about .03 percent THC.
NEW Hemp Reform Department of Agriculture
Since hemp is not a psychoactive substance, several states are taking the initiative to take hemp off the controlled substance list. Once hemp is off the list, full-scale commercial hemp farming will be allowed in those states, and that farming would be like cultivating any other agricultural crop. Colorado and Kentucky already treat hemp farming that way. But all licensed hemp companies are still bound by their state’s Department of Agriculture rules and regulations, pilot programs, licensing requirements, and compliance enforcement policies regarding THC.
Colorado has a bill pending that would give the Department of Agriculture, not the State’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, the right to regulate the amount of THC in controlled substances. State bills like this one could revolutionize the hemp industry and industries associated with hemp.
US Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2016
Another plus for the hemp industry is The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2016, P.L. 114-113, 129 Stat. 2242. That piece of legislature became a law on December 18, 2015. The Omnibus Appropriations Act prohibits the use of federal funds to stop processing, transportation, sale, and the use of industrial hemp that is grown or cultivated under the terms of the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Schedule 1 Amendment by DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)
The amended Drug Enforcement Agency rule on December 13, 2016, does not impact the way the hemp industry is doing business. Properly licensed companies through a state pilot program are protected by the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2016. The new DEA rule does not contain any information that would suggest new actions, enforcement initiatives, or safeguards that would hinder the CBD industry in any way unless there were FDA violations.
FDA Compliance (Food & Drug Administration)
The 2016 amended DEA rule is creating a new control number for hemp and CBD. Hemp has had a controlled substance number since 1970. The DEA amended rule means the DEA is not going to take any actions or enforcement procedures that would adversely affect the hemp industry unless there is an FDA violation. The amended rule, according to one DEA official, is for internal documentation purposes, and to make clinical trials easier to identify. Hemp reform is in motion, and it will continue to be a hot topic in state’s around the country.
Blog Post by Cannabis Lawyer, Craig Brand.
An ever increasing amount of U.S. states have legalized the production, cultivation, and sale of qualifying hemp. On January 4, 2017, a coalition of lawmakers in New Hampshire formally filed a bill prohibiting hemp’s designation as a controlled substance, as has Connecticut in 2014 and Vermont in 2015. This new bill, if passed, would legalize full-scale commercial hemp farming and treat it just like any other agricultural crop as in Colorado and Kentucky (to name a few). Presently all licensed Hemp companies are bound by their State’s Department’s of Agriculture and their pilot programs, rules, regulations, licensing criteria and compliance as well as compliance pursuant to their State’s enforcement policies regarding delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”).
State’s such as Colorado now have a pending Bill which would allow the Department of Agriculture, not the State’s Marijuana Enforcement Division to regulate the amount of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”). SENATE BILL 17-090, requires the commissioner of agriculture to determine the level of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol in industrial hemp by measuring the combined concentration ocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. The rules shall also establish a process by which a registrant may apply to the commissioner for a waiver from the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration limits under circumstances specified in the rules. Such innovative and commendable State action, as Colorado’s initiative, can revolutionize the hemp industry and provide invaluable dollars, job growth, and innovation to the agricultural and CBD industry, let alone all other industries associated with HEMP.
Numerous state’s “agricultural pilot programs” which “study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp” also include the marketing of hemp raw materials or products derived therefrom. “Marketing” includes packaging, shipping, transportation, distribution, and sale, and includes all in the chain of commerce, wholesaler, retailer, advertiser, reseller, customer, and ultimate user. To this day neither Federal or State laws specifically address shipping across state lines, as the legislature may have assumed it was simply a logical assumption given the defining of “Marketing” and permissive use. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2016, P.L. 114-113, 129 Stat. 2242, was enacted into law on December 18, 2015. One of the provisions of that Act prohibits use of federal funds to “prohibit the transportation, processing, sale, or use of Industrial Hemp that is grown or cultivated [under the Agricultural Act of 2014].” P.L. 114-113, § 763, 129 Stat. 2285. Federal case law supports this interpretation and would seem to allow the dissemination of hemp across state lines or support the notion that the Federal agencies are not permitted to use federal funds to impede such transportation.
It does not appear that the DEA’s December 13, 2016, Amended Rule materially impairs the hemp industry or the way it continues to engage in business. The properly licensed companies are involved in business as it is licensed by and through a state pilot program established by a Congressionally approved Bill and further protected from interference by the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2016. The Amended Rule, if taken literally and if the DEA is not misleading the public it serves, is creating a new control number for the hemp extract and CBD. Note, that hemp, itself, already has a control number and has since 1970 been classified as a Schedule I substance. This new rule does not contain any discussion regarding any new enforcement initiatives, actions, or safeguards that would be adverse to the CBD industry unless it was allegedly used in violation of the FDA. The new Amended Rule as explained by the DEA’s Ms. Barbara Carreno was created for and its purpose being for internal documentation purposes to make their work more efficient and clinical trials with the substances more easily identifiable. This does not mean that the DEA is misleading the public with a secret agenda or with hidden malicious intent against the hemp or CBD industry, but to do so would mean that the DEA would be inviting further Federal Court rulings, possible congressional action, and possible executive fall out, all of which could significantly backfire against the DEA and other law enforcement agencies.
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