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The Hemp Report

An online trade journal covering the North America hemp industry: agriculture, processing, marketing, research, business and regulatory news, and updates. Strong focus on hemp farming and developments in Canada.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Hemp Foods Remain Legal in US 

Vote Hemp

    The Hemp Industries Association has won its case against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The conclusion of the Court in HIA v DEA is worth repeating here:

[9] The DEA's Final Rules purport to regulate foodstuffs containing "natural and synthetic THC." And so they can: in keeping with the definitions of drugs controlled under Schedule I of the CSA, the Final Rules can regulate foodstuffs containing natural THC if it is contained within marijuana, and can regulate synthetic THC of any kind. But they cannot regulate naturally-occurring THC not contained within or derived from marijuana—i.e., non-psychoactive hemp products— because non-psychoactive hemp is not included in Schedule I. The DEA has no authority to regulate drugs that are not scheduled, and it has not followed procedures required to schedule a substance.

[10] The DEA's definition of "THC" contravenes the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress in the CSA and cannot be upheld. DEA-205F and DEA-206F are thus scheduling actions that would place non-psychoactive hemp in Schedule I for the first time. In promulgating the Final Rules, the DEA did not follow the procedures in §§ 811(a) and 812(b) of the CSA required for scheduling. The amendments to 21 C.F.R. § 1308.11(d)(27) that make THC applicable to all parts of the Cannabis plant are therefore void. We grant Appellants' petition and permanently enjoin enforcement of the Final Rules with respect to non-psychoactive hemp or products containing it.

Download the Opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in PDF format:
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/90DC066FE8E8955688256E31007ACE3B/$file/0371366.pdf?openelement or from Vote Hemp here.

     I find it interesting, but not surprising, that DEA went out of its way to issue press releases durning the case like DEA Clarifies Status of Hemp in the Federal Register and DEA Statement on THC in
Cannabis Food Products in Light of Ongoing Litigation
, but there is no mention of their decision not to appeal HIA v DEA to the Supreme Court in their current News Releases. Vote Hemp had also asked for an apology from DEA, and even though the HIA won the case, I imagine that this will probably never happen.

Here are some of the better news stories that have appeared about HIA v DEA recently:

Government Ends Attempt to Ban Hemp Foods
Join Together Online

U.S. won't try to ban hemp foods, oils
By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

Hemp, hemp, hooray!
By Genevieve Bookwalter, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Hemp Food Industry Wins 3-Year Battle
The Los Angeles Times

Lawyer: DEA Battle to Ban Hemp Food Over
By The Associated Press
The New York Times

DEA's failed battle to ban hemp food is over, attorneys say
By David Kravets, Associated Press
San Jose Mercury News

Hemp Industry on Fire
By Valerie Vande Panne

posted by Tom  # 6:25 PM
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