CBD’s legal status has been disputed for a long while by several authorities and ignited by the HIA vs. DEA decision, a ruling in a leading lawsuit by the hemp industry.
Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration was sued by the Hemp Industries Association to overturn the DAE rule announcing the CBD oil as illegal. On April 30, the court dismissed the case resulting from a technical matter. However, nothing could prevent the misinformation about the ruling from spreading online. As we want the access to CBD oil to be legal, we were determined to search for the things behind the HIA vs. DEA decision and the consequences for the hemp industry.
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The executive director at the HIA, Colleen Keahey stated, “Our hope was that they would withdraw the rule or go back through the traditional rulemaking progress.”
Instead of grounding the decision on the argument made by HIA, the court came to the conclusion that the case was invalid because they did not attend an official comment period, which was two years ago. Keahey indicated that the comment period was in 2011, but the DAE waited until 2016 to surprisingly declare CBD as illegal.
While the hemp industry could have deemed the ruling as a loss, there are still things to be uncovered. After all these, the DEA may have been made to acknowledge that the CBD products like CBD gum for sale on the market that deriving from hemp are legal.
The Reason Why the Hemp Industry Filed a Lawsuit
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, which makes people high, is still illegal at the federal level. However, as most experts claim, it is not true for the industrial hemp. As for the 2014 Farm Bill, signed by the former President Barack Obama last year, the industrial hemp is legal as long as it is grown under the supervision of the state hemp program. As the Vote Hemp puts, 15 states produced hemp last year for over 25,000 acres. CBD (cannabidiol) is an extract of hemp and has been claimed by science to have many health benefits.
Even when it is extracted from legal hemp, the DEA has searched for several ways to declare CBD as illegal. The DEA rule has led to enormous legal confusion despite the fact that CBD products are online available almost in every US state.
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States like Indiana and Wisconsin have struggled much with the status of CBD in law. A resident from Indiana squeaked barely through the drug possession charges for CBD before the law enabling the legal use of CBD was enacted in that state.
In their lawsuit, the HIA were accompanied by several advocates hoping that the confusion about the legality of CBD would be cleared up.
Policies of the Government Are Forced to Be Updated in Accordance with the HIA vs. DEA Decision
Hoban Law Group, who are recognized specialists in cannabis law, were another important party to the lawsuit. They reacted against misunderstandings and rumors going around the HIA vs. DEA decision and wrote “Contrary to many media reports suggesting otherwise, the Court’s ruling does not find that industrial hemp, or derivatives or extracts of hemp, are illegal,” and continued by stating, “In fact, this ruling should not be understood to practically impact the hemp industry in an adverse way and does provide some clarity.”
As this statement indicates, by dismissing the case the court just meant that the Farm Bill is just taking the place of the Controlled Substances Act. Actually, the CSA is the anti-drug law that the DEA has used to claim that CBD is illegal. Furthermore, the court explained that if the CSA conflicts the Farm Act, the Farm Act (as well as CBD and legal hemp) will be prioritized.
“This is good news for the hemp industry,” Hoban said.
In his May 2 evaluation of the HIA vs. DEA decision, Rod Kight, another well-known legal supporter of cannabis, made a striking point in his blog by writing, “The outcome was not entirely awful.” Kight has focused on the fact that the CBD clarification was published shortly after the case began.
Even though the DEA’s clarification was written in a vague way, it could be deduced that “CBD is not illegal, per se,” as long as it is extracted from a legal source like hemp. The DEA had to admit that CBD was always legal, but the issue of CBD’s legality has still not been solved.
“On the one hand, nothing has changed and life in the wake of this ruling is the same as it was before the ruling,” Kight stated. “On the other hand, things are more confusing than ever.”
CBD Lawsuit Decision Highlights the Urgency of Legal Change
The lawsuit could be appealed for correction, but as Keahey claims, the Hemp Industries Association is leaving their options open.
“As of April 30, we have 45 days to decide and our board of directors and our legal counsel and our co-petitioners are just putting together thoughts and opinions and reviewing potential strategies,” she spoke out. “We’ve got some time so we’re going to take it and make sure we do our due diligence to take the appropriate action.”
In general, most of the experts assert that the lawsuit results will not have much effect on the industry. In most states, CBD supplements still can be bought by people online. Notwithstanding, cases like these point to the fact that there is a need for legal change at the federal level. The “Hemp Farming Act of 2018”, which is a Senate bill, could make hemp and other extracts like CBD fully legal. Sponsored mainly by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, there is growing bipartisan support for the bill.
Whether or not they appeal the court case, Keahey expressed her excitement for the approaching Hemp History Week, co-sponsored by the Hemp Industries Association cosponsors with the nonprofit Vote Hemp and others. The Hemp History Week takes place from June 4 through 10 in 2018.
It is a grassroots campaign that aims to raise awareness of the benefits of this crop and the ways that could be used. This year, the campaign has a perfect timing in that it has a great opportunity to draw attention to full hemp legalization and to motivate voters to lobby their lawmakers. “We hope we get more response from constituents to Congress than ever before,” Keahey said to us.
Visit CBD Oil Adviser to learn more about the consequences of the industrial hemp prohibition.