Under current Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulation, marijuana-extract
products, such as
hemp, are considered a separate Schedule I drug from Marijuana. Schedule I
drugs, including marijuana are federally outlawed, though several states
have passed legislation allowing for medical or recreational use of cannabis.
In January 2017, a group of hemp-based businesses filed a petition with
the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to seek a declaration from the
DEA that the administration has overstepped their authority with this
The current rule creates a new Administration Controlled Substances Code
Number for Marijuana extract. This rule will allow the DEA and DEA-registered
entities to track quantities of marijuana extract materials, like hemp,
separately from the tracked quantities of marijuana. Prior to the effective
date of this rule, there were Code Numbers assigned to products containing
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and marijuana, but there was no Code Number
assigned to track marijuana-extract products. The purpose of this sudden
singling out of marijuana-extract products is to allow the DEA to better
track these products, which are still considered a Schedule I drug. The
DEA hopes that tracking marijuana-extracts will allow the administration
to bring their tracking in line with the 1961 treaty called the Single
Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The Single Convention tracks marijuana and
its extract separately, while the DEA grouped these products together
until the new rule.
The hemp industry is concerned that the new rule could single out the industry
for unauthorized and excessive government enforcement. The U.S. hemp industry
is a multi-billion dollar industry, and federal crackdowns on state-permitted
hemp farming and production may drive the industry out of business. Far
from a drug, help is used in the production of clothing, biofuels, construction
materials, and food. The DEA maintains that the new rule is a simple re-classification
of the substance, which is already tracked, but the hemp industry remains
concerned. If the DEA were to operate in accordance with their new rule,
it is likely that local law enforcement agencies may attempt to disrupt
the cultivation of hemp-based products. In states where hemp cultivation
has been legalized, it is unlikely that there will be an immediate change
in enforcement. The pending challenge in the Ninth Circuit may provide
the hemp industry with further protections from federal enforcement.
marijuana law attorneys will be closely following the case as we wait for the outcome. At
Sacks Weston Diamond LLC, we are proud to protect those in the medical marijuana and hemp industries.
We are committed to helping individuals who are involved with these industries
through knowledgeable, experienced legal representation.
Learn how we can help with your medical marijuana case.
Contact our offices for a
free case evaluation.