December 15, 2016
Yesterday the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a Final Rule on the coding of marijuana extracts. Unfortunately some misleading media stories and social media postings lead quite a few people to panic at reports that CBD was being banned under this new rule.
The Sky is NOT Falling. The Final Rule published by DEA did not change the legal status of CBD. This can only be done by a scheduling action which has NOT occurred.
HIA has carefully reviewed this with our legal advisors and discussed it with industry experts. While there are some differing opinions on the effect of the rule, there is general agreement that yesterday's ruling did not change the status of CBD. Here are some important facts to know:
- Cannabidiol is not listed on the federal schedule of controlled substances
- Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill defines hemp as distinct from marijuana and does not treat it as a controlled substance when grown under a compliant state program
- Despite these facts, DEA has stated that CBD is a controlled substance previously
- HIA strongly disagrees with the DEA position and is ready to take action to defend should DEA take any action to block the production, processing or sale of hemp under Sec. 7606
- The Final Rule published on December 14th was not a scheduling action but rather an administrative action related to record keeping
- The code assigned to "marihuana extract" in the rule is "Administration Controlled Substances Code Number" for the purposes of identification of substances on registration forms
- The rule was originally published as a proposed rule in 2011 BEFORE the Farm Bill and didn't mention CBD or hemp
- DEA confirmed to a reporter from the Denver Post that this was an administrative action and did not change the status of CBD in federal law
So what does this all mean? We believe the DEA rule on "marihuana extracts" was not directed at hemp derived CBD products and has been in the works for 5 years. We also believe there is no imminent change in DEA policy regarding hemp derived CBD products.
For now, we want to urge everyone to calm down and continue with your businesses. We also hope that in future, reporters will take the time to get the facts before posting misleading stories about hemp and CBD.