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Hemp Industries Association Sues DEA for Second Time in a Month

The non-profit Hemp Industries Association is taking the DEA to court over an alleged violation of a 13-year old court order that excludes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.

For the second time in a month, Hemp Industries Association (HIA) has filed a motion against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). On February 6, the non-profit trade association for hemp businesses took action to hold the DEA in contempt of court for violating a 13-year-old court order that prohibits the agency from regulating hemp food products as Schedule I controlled substances.

“We will not stand idly by while the DEA flouts the will of Congress, violates the Ninth Circuit order, and harasses honest hemp producers trying to make a living with this in-demand crop,” said Colleen Keahey, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association, in a statement.

The HIA claims that the DEA, in conjunction with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA), violated the order by sending a threatening letter to a North Dakota company that produces hemp protein powder and hempseed oil produced from hemp grown legally in the state. The received communication from the DEA and NDDA claimed that the export of hemp products to other states was prohibited, “because industrial hemp is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.”

In 2004, however, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the DEA has no power to regulate the mature stalks, fiber, oil, or cake from hemp. Hemp products that are derived from these parts of the Cannabis plant are exempt from the Controlled Substances Act.

Medical Marijuana, Inc. uses these exempt parts of the hemp plant to derive its pure CBD hemp oil. We also import our hemp from Europe, which is also exempt under the law. Our CBD hemp oil products are therefore not classified as controlled substances and are legal to purchase and use in all 50 U.S. states. Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus recently released a video statement detailing the legality of our CBD hemp oil products and you can access that here.

“Thirteen years ago DEA was told in no uncertain terms by the U.S. Court of Appeals that Congress had made its intent clear: DEA has no power to regulate hemp seed and oil, and the hemp food and beverage products made from them,” Joe Sandler, lead counsel for the industry association, said in a statement. “It is disappointing that the industry has to revisit the issue, and take this step to compel DEA to obey the law.”

CBD hemp oil products

The HIA also argues that the DEA’s actions violate both the Congressional intent of the Farm Bill and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. The Farm Bill defined industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana and allows states to legalize its cultivation and processing. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 prevents authorities from using federal funds to obstruct the processing and sale of hemp in and outside of states that have legalized hemp cultivation.

Last month, the HIA and several other petitioners filed a lawsuit against the DEA in California federal court, seeking to overturn the DEA’s enacting of a rule that established a new drug code specifically for marijuana extracts.

“Hemp is a healthy superfood with vital nutrients such as Omegas 3 and 6, protein fiber, and all 10 essential amino acids that are ideal for today’s family. The DEA must stop treating hemp, hempseed and hempseed oil, which is a nutritious ingredient, as something illicit. We have to address the challenges that thwart the domestic industry’s progress and especially those that mislead state Departments of Agriculture and limit entry of legal hemp products into the marketplace,” added Keahey.

You can learn more about Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s CBD hemp oil products by visiting our Hemp CBD Oil Product Guide.