DEA Proposes Major Rule Changes for Hemp

August 26, 2020

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) published an Interim Final Rule (IFR) on August 20, 2020, relating to the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill from their perspective.  For those of you who don’t know what the DEA does, it is one of the (many) federal agencies that enforce the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  As  they have been and remain the major player in the federal enforcement of the CSA, what they say carries a lot of weight.

Their proposed rules for the further implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, if adopted as final rules, will have two major impacts on the hemp industry.

One, it appears that they are saying that a hemp product always has to be under .03% THC.  As it stands now, it is legal in Oregon to have the “unfinished” product test at higher than .03% THC as long as before it is sold to the consumer it is diluted back down to meet the .03% level.  Of course, the pre-harvest testing of the plants must be under .03% as well.

Two, the ability to extract cannbinoids from hemp other than than CBD may be severely impacted.  CBG, CBN and other, non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids may be effected.  It appears it’s just the act of having to synthesize a compound that’s clearly a problem under the new rule.   The DEA appears to be saying that only “naturally” occurring cannabinoids are legal to possesses.  If that view is in the final rule, it appears that “removing” Delta-8 from hemp would be illegal.

Many in the industry are speaking out about this.  Now is the time to so. You can read the IFR by clicking here.

You can submit comments on it through October 20, 2020 by clicking here and following the online instructions at that site for submitting comments. To ensure proper handling of comments, you should reference “RIN 1117- AB53/ Docket No. DEA-500” on all correspondence.


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