The DEA recently decided to classify CBD oil as a schedule 1 substance. As a result, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) said they are “strongly considering legal action” to block the DEA’s reclassification. The FDA considers CBD a dietary supplement and legal in all states. Although CBD’s legality was in the gray area, hemp was massively produced and extracted without interference across the U.S. In fact, the market for CBD was estimated to increase by 700% over the next four years.
Fortunately, the DEA may make advisory recommendations but have not been delegated schedule authority under the law, except for limited powers for emergency scheduling which must be approved by Congress to become permanent classifications. So, there’s still hope for children who need CBD to halt seizures and allow them to live their lives.
Why Did The DEA Ban CBD In The First Place?
So, what reason does the DEA have for ranking CBD oil amongst the most dangerous drugs accessible to man? Apparently, the US is attempting to comply with international drug-control treaties. According to DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg this code “will allow DEA and DEA-registered entities to track quantities of this material separately from quantities of marihuana.”
The DEA claims that there are small amounts of other cannabinoids like THC in every CBD extract. They cite this as another reason to keep CBD on schedule 1.
“For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code.”
So even if we can somehow guarantee there is nothing but CBD in the oil… it’s still illegal.
The DEA Goes After Another Safe Alternative To Opiates
Great, more federal funding towards hunting down safer alternatives to opiates.The DEA’s decisions have benefitted pharmaceutical companies before. In fact, just a few months ago the DEA tried to ban Kratom, an herbal extract that helps recovering opiate addicts with withdrawals and other symptoms.
States that banned Kratom individually before this saw a 20% increase in opioid overdose-related deaths. Once again, the DEA skips the facts and goes straight to prohibition.
Hemp Industry Wants To Fight DEA Decision
The HIA believes CBD products should still be considered “supplements,” not drugs. The non-profit trade association represents businesses, farmers, researchers, and investors. The HIA claim the oil can be produced from industrial hemp without and involvement of marijuana. So, they shouldn’t fall into the category of “marijuana extracts.”
“Additionally, the ruling is based on an incorrect and incomplete understanding of how CBD is derived from the cannabis plant,” the HIA explained. “While CBD may be derived from forms of cannabis that contain high amounts of THC, the cannabinoid associated with ‘marijuana,’ CBD may also be produced from industrial hemp plants that meet the legal standards of less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight, and which may be cultivated in 32 states in the U.S. per Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill. Hence, not all CBD products may be classified as extracts from ‘marijuana.’”
Congress already declared hemp farmers could produce CBD oil in 2014 and they’re the ones with the ability to approve permanent classifications. The executive director of the HIA, Eric Steenstra said the “DEA has no authority whatsoever to impede the production, processing or sale of hemp products, including CBD products, grown under the Farm Bill.” The HIA has yet to take legal action against the DEA. However, it’s currently under heavy consideration.