DEA Hemp Rule Raises Questions About Compliance


Uncertainty and questions about testing and enforcement abound

By: Avery Martinez

The release of a new interim final rule on hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration in August has caused some concern within the hemp industry. Public comment is currently being taken on the rule until Oct. 20, however, the interim rule has highlighted issues within the hemp industry in testing for THC and concerns over remaining compliant.

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, allows production of hemp, and the Controlled Substances Act no longer controls hemp, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. The bill also directed the USDA to issue regulations and guidance to implement a regulatory framework around hemp production across the nation.

The DEA’s interim rule seeks to codify the amendments to the Controlled Substances Act made by the Farm Bill into their regulations. The DEA website states that the interim final rule regards the scope of regulatory control over “marihuana, tetrahydrocannabinols [THC] and other marihuana-related constituents” and doesn’t add additional requirements to the regulations.

Under the Farm Bill, the definition of “marihuana” means all parts of the plant “Cannabis sativa L.” growing or not, the seeds, resin extracted from the plant and every compound, manufacture salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant seeds or resin, according to the DEA website.

Hemp, however, is defined as any part of the same plant, including seeds and derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomer whether growing or not “with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinoil concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis,” according to the DEA site.

The website goes on to state that with these definitions, any such material that contains greater than the .3% of THC “on a dry weight basis remains controlled in schedule I.

However, keeping hemp below that .3% can be difficult, and has several members of the hemp community concerned that they may inadvertently break the law.

This complete article appeared in the Oct. 5 issue of Law Week Colorado. Check out the print issue for the entire article with insights from CSQ’s fearless leader, Tyler Williams

Originally Posted: Law Week Colorado