IS CBD LEGAL
So you’re thinking about purchasing CBD, but you’re wondering if it’s legal. Let us help you understand the tricky conversation about the legality of Hemp CBD.
THE DIFFERENCE IS THE AMOUNT OF THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis responsible for a euphoric high. A cannabis plant that contains more than 1% THC is considered Marijuana and any cannabis plant containing less than .3% is considered Hemp. It’s as simple as that.
WHAT IS A SCHEDULE 1 DRUG?
President Nixon’s Controlled Substance Act (CSA) of 1970 deems any drug or substance that lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision and currently has no medical use in the United States while having a high potential for abuse, or any product which contains any quantity of the hallucinogenic Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as belonging to Schedule 1 in federal code.
2014 IHFA AMENDED NIXON’S 1970 CSA
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act (IHFA) of 2014 amended the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) of 1970, excluding industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. Hemp CBD is nowhere to be found in the CSA, while THC is specifically referred to as being off limits.
HEMP IS A NON-NARCOTIC AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY
In the FARM BILL, Congress states that he term `marihuana’ does not include industrial hemp or research hemp. Rather the term `industrial hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part or derivative of such plant (including viable seeds), whether growing or not which has a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of less than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Verbiage from the 2016 Omnibus Act (or Consolidated Appropriations Act) states, lucidly:
“Sec. 763. None of the funds made available by this act or any other act may be used– (1) in contravention of section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (7 U.S.C. 5940); or (2) to prohibit the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp that is grown or cultivated in accordance with subsection section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, within or outside the State in which the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated.”
Letter Published By The US Hemp Roundtable
On October 2nd, 2017, a letter was published by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a conglomerate of movers and shakers in the hemp industry, which laid out the legal realities allowing for the hemp-derived CBD industry to continue thriving.
We found these arguments to be compelling and solid, and all the best vibes to the US Hemp Roundtable, for their impactful scholarship and for the spot-on assessment of the legal framework for CBD: this indisputably righteous cause.
BE RESPONSIBLE, FOR YOUR CBD CHOICES
If you are accessing hemp-derived high-CBD products from companies that are connected to their state agricultural department, or an institution of higher learning, you are protected by the Agricultural Act of 2014.
There are companies that have not filed an application to grow hemp under their state regulations. In fact, they might not even be growing cannabis legally at all. You need to take responsibility for yourself in this area. It should be mentioned that the Agricultural Act of 2014 changed the definition of hemp. It was widely accepted that hemp was defined as stalk and seed but not the flower. This is no longer the case; flower is now considered an acceptable source for extraction. This is a blessing, since the flower is where the majority of the CBD milligrams are held.
DEA CAN ENFORCE THE LAWS, BUT CAN NOT CREATE THEM
The DEA released an official position in October 2001, which stated that any hemp product made for human consumption containing any level of THC is a controlled substance. Fortunately, DEA official positions are subject to US statute (actual laws). This position was ultimately found to be inconsistent with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and, therefore, deemed unenforceable by a federal court in 2004. Contrary to some popular opinions, CBD is not a controlled substance. You will not find CBD on the controlled substances list or anywhere in US statute. It is generally believed to be a controlled substance, but it is not; we have looked. In 2017, the DEA attempted to add a new controlled substance code, which would have included the term “cannabidiol” to the CSA. This recommended addition has not received necessary approvals to be added to the CSA.
As affirmed in 2004 by HIA v DEA, such additions to the CSA require proof that a substance is harmful and of no medical value. As we all know, no one will be able to prove this.
Chief Judge Betty Fletcher, ruling in HIA v DEA, wrote:
“The DEA does not purport to have met the requirements for placement of non-psychoactive hemp on Schedule I, and indeed disclaims any need to show that non-psychoactive hemp “has a high potential for abuse.” Instead, the DEA argues that naturally-occurring THC in those parts of the hemp plant excluded from the definition of “marijuana” have always been included under the listing for “THC,” and that it had no previous need to clarify this because the intentional use of such products in foodstuffs is relatively new within the United States. The DEA urges that under Chevron its definition of the meaning of “THC” in the CSA should be given deference. However, no deference is required because this issue is resolved at Chevron step one: the statutory language on point unambiguously precludes an interpretation of the THC definition that includes non-psychoactive hemp.”
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