“DEA Denies the HIA’s Petition to Review the Hemp Extract Rule” This headline sounds like a bummer, doesn’t it? And what does it mean? Is hemp legal (still)? Is hemp oil legal? You may have been hearing the buzz lately around the DEA, a new decision, and the old Hemp extract rule. At first glance, the news may seem like a movement backward, like bad news or a step in the wrong direction.

However, don’t give up hope just yet. Let’s cut through the noise and figure out what the truth is. This recent development may actually have positive implications for the world of hemp and CBD.

Read on for a full explanation of what has occurred recently and what it might mean for you. There is a lot of confusion surrounding this recent news, and it’s important to get to the bottom of it so that you can adequately understand what truly changed — and what did not — with this recent development.

Is Hemp Oil Legal? Is Hemp Legal?

Changes to the Hemp Extract Rule: Summary of Recent Developments

What’s going on? In recent weeks, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition from the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) to review the marijuana extract rule.

This controversial rule was issued in 2016 by the Drug Enforcement Administration, also known as the DEA. The marijuana extract rule essentially is the fact that the DEA created a separate code number for tracking extracts of marijuana.

The rule went on to definite marijuana extract as “an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.”

The marijuana extract rule also confirmed that these newly defined marijuana extracts would continue to be considered by law as Schedule I controlled substances.

It’s easy to see why so many hemp supporters around the nation were really hoping that courts would take another look at this ruling! It was effective as of January 2017 and the hemp industry has already made a lot of progress since then.

Unfortunately, though, the DEA denied the HIA’s request to review the controversial marijuana extract rule.

This was very disappointing to people who were hoping that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would change things up and issue a new ruling. For example, in 2004, they ordered that the DEA could not prohibit non psycho active hemp products from being imported into the United States.

Still, according to some, there is still hope. There’s no reason to feel dismayed.

According to Jonathan Miller, General Counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, “This very short decision should not be read as a substantive setback for the U.S. hemp industry.”

Why is that? Doesn’t this mean it’s over for hemp and marijuana extract? Not necessarily.

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Macro detail of dropper with CBD oil, cannabis live resin extraction isolated on white – medical marijuana concept. Hemp Oil Extract

What’s the Good News?

Miller goes on to say,

“Contrary to some early reports, this ruling does NOT classify hemp derived cannabidiol (CBD) as a controlled substance, nor does it signify that the popular hemp product is federally illegal. Indeed, the ruling has no legal or practical impact on hemp or hemp products.”

This is how Miller breaks it down:

“The Ninth Circuit declared that decision has no precedental value – meaning it is not binding on other courts or future judicial decisions. The court even stated that the disposition was ‘not appropriate for publication,’ further limiting its value.”

In other words, this decision is not meant to set a precedent for future courts and laws to build off of. It’s just a one off decision that should not have any bearing on other situations or decisions.

Taking a Deeper Look

Curious to learn more? Below is how the U.S. Hemp Roundtable explains it:

“The ruling’s lack of significance is largely due to the fact that it was decided on procedural grounds, not on any matter of substance.

The Ninth Circuit ruled that the HIA had failed to meet a widely accepted principle of administrative law: Before you challenge a federal agency in court, you must first exhaust all of your administrative remedies – and in this case, the HIA had not participated in the DEA’s earlier public notice and comment period.

There’s even some good news in the order: The Ninth Circuit makes clear that the DEA’s Rule does not apply to hemp or hemp derived products developed under state pilot programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Court concisely states that the Farm Bill ‘contemplates potential conflict between the Controlled Substances Act [CSA] and preempts it.’

Accordingly, other hemp products exempted from the CSA – such as non psycho active hemp products that were the subject of the 2004 Ninth Circuit decision – should also be exempted from the DEA Rule.”

Thus — contrary to the way the media is reporting it — the Court’s ruling did not find that industrial hemp, or derivatives or extracts of hemp, are illegal. This is extremely important to note, as the story is being skewed to indicate the opposite!

The Bottom Line

What’s the bottom line for those who grow or use hemp products? This is where things start looking up.

“Perhaps even more significantly, during the litigation process, the DEA admitted that the marijuana extract rule did not apply to hemp.

In short, the DEA’s ‘marijuana extract rule’ does not apply to hemp or derivative products such as hemp derived CBD. Period.

And the U.S. Hemp Roundtable stands ready to defend that principle if ever the DEA tries to interfere with state pilot programs… We are aware, however, that this ruling will generate further concern about DEA’s enforcement intentions. That’s why it is so critical that Congress pass the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which would permanently remove hemp and hemp products from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act.

Accordingly, we ask all hemp supporters to contact their Senators and Congressmen, and urge them to co-sponsor S.2667 and HR 5485.

If you’re interested in letting your voice be heard, you can use the form created by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable here to contact your representatives and urge them to pass legislation that would permanently legalize hemp and products that come from hemp.

Is Hemp Oil Legal? If you're interested in letting your voice be heard, you can use the form created by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable here 

Want More Good News in the World of Hemp?

According to the National Hemp Association, “April [2018] saw some major momentum for federal hemp legislation.”

This is because the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced S.2667, now being referred to as the the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, into the Senate. And U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joined McConnell — his usual adversary — in co-sponsoring S.2667!

Schumer actually argued it was time for the DEA to get its nose out of hemp farms. He claimed that hemp should be permanently removed from the Controlled Substances Act.

According to the Times-Herald Record, the Senate bill would “remove industrial hemp as a federally classified Schedule 1 drug on par with heroin, empower states to choose whether to allow hemp growth and production, make states the principle regulators of hemp, permit hemp farmers to apply for crop insurance, [and] allow hemp researchers to apply and compete for U.S. Department of Agriculture grants.”

Plus, in the House, Representative James Comer introduced an exact companion bill, called HR 5485.

What Do These Bills Mean?

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What will these bills mean for those involved in the world of hemp and cannabis? The National Hemp Association explains it this way.

“While these bills have been introduced as stand alone bills, it appears the current strategy is to have these bills added to the 2018 Farm Bill, which could significantly speed up passage as the Farm Bill is ‘must pass’ legislation.

NHA Chairman, Geoff Whaling, and Executive Director, Erica McBride spent 2 days on the Hill last week to secure support for hemp legislation. While they left optimistic, passage is not inevitable and it is imperative that we keep the momentum going and continue to educate congressional members.”

That’s why it’s so important to contact your legislators and let them know that you support the passing of these bills! If they are signed into law, this could mean big things for the hemp industry in our nation.

Good News at State Level

It’s always exciting when more states join the list of those who pass legislation relating to hemp or cannabis.

In recent months, the states of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Kansas have joined the ranks of states that qualify in this category! By passing hemp legislation, these states have indicated that they recognize and respect hemp’s huge potential in our world today.

And it just goes to show you — with hard working and passionate people at the helm of progress, together we can accomplish anything.

Check out this article from Tulsa World if you want to learn more about what this new bill will mean for residents of the state of Oklahoma. In short, the new law “allows universities and farmers who work with those universities to grow industrial hemp.”

Sure, this may seem like a small step for now, but it’s a step in the right direction — and that’s all that matters.

More on House Bill 2913

The governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, signed House Bill 2913 into law in a landmark decision. We hope that other states will emulate her wisdom and forward thinking in this!

House Bill 2913 officially establishes the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program, which gives permission to universities and farmers to grow hemp for research and development. The pilot program will be overseen by the state of Oklahoma’s Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Fallin declared, “Industrial hemp has the potential to become a source of steady, recurring revenue for our state. This pilot program will allow for careful analysis of the economic potential of industrial hemp farming in Oklahoma and of its environmental impact.”

We applaud Fallin for her open mind and her willingness to sign bills into law that have the citizens of Oklahoma first in mind.

What’s the Big Deal With Hemp Derived Products?

What’s the big deal with the hemp plant as opposed to any other kind of plant in the marijuana family of plants?

The most important thing is the fact that while hemp is related to the rest of the cannabis family, it is not the same.

That’s because hemp growers breed it especially to contain low levels of the cannabinoid THC — if any at all. THC is the chemical in marijuana plants that is responsible for the psycho active effect — or getting high. Most people do not realize that without the THC, plants in the cannabis family will not cause you to get high or stoned. It’s the THC that is responsible for this.

Thus, hemp farmers work to grow plants with as little THC content as possible. This is because the hemp plant has a wide variety of uses outside recreational purposes. People can use CBD in food, skin care products, paper, supplements, and more.

In order to grow plants destined for these purposes rather than human consumption, they grow plants that do not prioritize THC so that they can focus on its other properties instead.

A byproduct of doing things this way is that they can sometimes produce plants that offer great medicinal and therapeutic benefits for people — they contain other wonderful cannabinoids, like CBD, but will not get people high and therefore are not illegal.

And that’s where CBD derived from hemp comes in. If you purchase CBD products that come from the hemp plant rather than cannabis itself, you will find products that are naturally very low in THC content (if they have any at all) and therefore are legal in most places and will not present any undesired side effects for you.

You will be able to feel the therapeutic benefits of the marijuana family of plants for yourself without any of the elements of the experience that you don’t want.

Where to Get CBD Derived from Hemp Oil Extract

Now that you understand that CBD that comes from hemp — and other hemp oil extract products products — are perfectly within the realm of law, you’re probably wondering where you can get some for yourself!

If you want to experience hemp CBD oils for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. We sell a wide range of CBD products, including CBD that comes straight from the hemp plant.

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Disclaimer: The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this disclaimer. We collected this information from various sources for the convenience of our customers. The statements made regarding these products were not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products is not confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information presented here is not meant as a substitute for information from health care practitioners. It is also not meant as an alternative to information from health care practitioners. Before using any product, you should consult your doctor and ask about the risk of interactions or complications.