Marijuana Facts

Hemp industry lawsuit challenging DEA’s position on CBD picks up support of 28 U.S. legislators

A bipartisan congressional coalition pushed back on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s assertion that cannabidiol and extracts derived from hemp are Schedule I substances.

Twenty-eight legislators including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., on Thursday filed an amicus brief in support of the Hemp Industries Association’s lawsuit challenging the DEA’s new rule on “marihuana extracts.”

The Hemp Industries Association and hemp businesses last year filed a petition in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that claimed the DEA overstepped its bounds when enacting a rule for a new drug code for marijuana derivatives such as cannabidiol, better known as CBD.

In their brief filed in the ongoing case, the amici said that the DEA’s rule, subsequent clarification and public statements made by agency officials fly in the face of the congressional definition of industrial hemp in the U.S. Farm Bill and subverts states’ rights:

“While the Farm Bill pilot programs fell short of the full legalization some Members desired, the pilot programs provided enough latitude to allow for a growing body of knowledge regarding the viability of a domestic hemp market. Congress recognized and acknowledged the need for research and development to investigate hemp-derived products, including CBD, and gave states broad discretion to create pilot programs to accomplish this research. The Final Rule is inconsistent with the Farm Bill’s most fundamental purpose: to allow states that wish to experiment with commercial research and development of industrial hemp, including extracts and derivatives therefrom, to do so without interference from the DEA. The Spending Bill reinforced the text of this law.”

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