The hemp trade is just not the just one that’s pushing again towards the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s hemp Interim Final Rule (the “Rule”). If you learn this weblog, you’ll recall the hemp trade sued the DEA following the launch of its Rule in August 2020. The Rule threatens the hemp trade as a result of it wrongfully criminalizes the extraction strategy of hemp into derivatives, extracts and cannabinoids, which is a vital element of all hemp-derived merchandise.
Last week, 9 members of Congress issued a letter to the DEA’s Acting Administrator, Timothy Shea, to precise their considerations concerning the Rule.
In their letter, the lawmakers defined having obtained numerous calls from hemp constituents who’re extraordinarily fearful that conducting lawful actions below the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (‘the “2018 Farm Bill”) will end in felony legal responsibility below the Rule.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp alongside with its derivatives, extracts and cannabinoids. In order to extract these lawful plant supplies from hemp, the hemp plant should undergo an extraction course of. Accordingly, it logically follows that the 2018 Farm Bill additionally legalized the processing of hemp into such derivatives, extracts and cannabinoids.
Despite this logical inference, the lawmakers defined, the DEA failed to acknowledge this nuance, alongside with the clear legislative intent of the 2018 Farm Bill, when it drafted the Rule that states:
“any such material that contains greater than 0.3% of Δ9-THC on a dry weight basis remains controlled in schedule I.”
Moreover, the 9 lawmakers argue that the Rule fails to acknowledge the well-known indisputable fact that the course of by which hemp is extracted into derivatives, extracts and cannabinoids can, and nearly all the time, ends in elevated delta-9 THC ranges, even when the completed hemp product meets the lawful THC threshold imposed below federal legislation. This, the letter gives, implies that, pursuant to the Rule, extracting hemp might trigger hemp processors to quickly possess a managed substance, which might clearly violate the legislative intent of the 2018 Farm Bill.
In mild of those points, the lawmakers requested that the Rule be revised to (1) be constant with the letter and intent of the 2018 Farm Bill, (2) eradicate all ambiguities concerning the legality of middleman hemp, but in addition (3) shield a nascent, flourishing financial system. Indeed, the letter explains that:
“[t]he hemp industry in the United States is estimated to be worth approximately $10.3 billion by 2024, increasing from $1.2 billion in 2019. This industry is capable of incredible growth and is a source of immense livelihood for Americans, all of which is at risk under the [Rule]’s interpretation.”
The letter was submitted on October 20, which marked the final day public feedback regarding the Rule could possibly be accepted. It now stays to be seen whether or not the DEA will consider these suggestions because it proceeds with the formal adoption of the Rule. However, given the current lawsuit introduced forth towards the DEA and its Rule, the company might not get to proceed with the rule making course of. Indeed, if the United States District Court for the District of Columbia had been to grant the hemp trade an injunctive reduction, the DEA can be prevented from imposing and revising the Rule till the courtroom hears the case, which might not be for an additional yr.