Colorado-Based Hemp Organization Sues DEA

A Colorado-based hemp trade organization is suing the Drug Enforcement Administration over a new laboratory-testing policy that members of the hemp industry fear could hurt future CBD production.

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and RE Botanicals, a hemp-product manufacturer out of South Carolina, filed a lawsuit against the DEA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on September 18, asking the court to review the DEA’s interim final rule in response to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp at the federal level.

The rule, announced and implemented in August, clarified that hemp products exceeding the federal limit of 0.3 percent THC at any time are a Schedule I substance. The HIA believes that the rule’s language could be interpreted to include hemp extracts during the manufacturing process.

When extracting CBD from hemp, other cannabinoids, including THC — the cannabis plant’s main intoxicating compound — are also extracted and concentrated. According to hemp extractors such as RE Botanicals, the 0.3 percent THC limit is almost always exceeded during the production process, and then the THC is removed from the final product and disposed of before lab testing.

Under the DEA’s new rule, hemp and CBD companies worry they’re now breaking federal laws during their standard manufacturing process, which could force hemp extractors “out of business overnight,” RE Botanicals CEO Janel Ralph says. [Read More @ Westword]