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The DEA’s Outlawing of CBD Oil and Cannabis Extracts May, In Fact, Be Illegal


Since the DEA announced that it was adding CBD oil and marijuana extracts to the Controlled Substances Act, a lot of controversy has been buzzing. Before bringing the potential illegal action by the DEA to Leafist’s readers, I wanted to make sure that the claims were properly researched first. I’ve looked at multiple resources, and what I’ve come up with is – all signs point to the DEA overstepping its boundaries.

There are potentially three ways in which the DEA has gone too far, I’ll explain each one here, and please, as always – if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and we don’t have the answer right away, we’ll research it for you to make sure you’re getting the most accurate information.

Marijuana Extracts from Mature Stalks

Some cannabis extracts are absolutely legal under federal law. Any extracts made from mature stalks of cannabis plants are absolutely legal. Why? Well, it’s rather simple; the term marijuana does not “include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such mature stalks”. The only exclusion from this rule is cannabis resin extracted from mature stalks.

What does this mean? I’ll break it down simply as – cannabis extracts made from mature stalks aren’t illegal at all.

Congress already made these extracts legal and the DEA doesn’t have the authority to overrule Congress.

CBD Oils from Hemp Plants

States that have hemp laws in compliance with the U.S. Farm Bill of 2014 are creating CBD oil and cannabis/hemp-based oils/extracts aren’t breaking any laws. States participating in the US Farm Bill of 2014 are producing hemp legally. States with pilot research programs for hemp are also exempt. Extracts from hemp plants, when cultivated in legal states, are legal.

Going a step further here, states participating in industrial hemp cultivation and/or research, are doing so legally. The DEA is absolutely not permitted to get in the way of CBD products made in hemp-legal states.

Hemp Indus Rule

Cannabis extracts are absolutely legal when they are made from non-psychoactive industrial hemp when it is cultivated in states that have adopted legal industrial hemp cultivation. It is only illegal when the hemp or extracts are imported from outside U.S. borders. So, if your state has adopted a hemp law, allowing for industrial hemp growth, the DEA cannot mess with that.

What this also means is that cannabis oils/extracts containing trace amounts of THC, but are derived from legal industrial hemp plants are absolutely legal. What does this do to the “clarifications” the DEA recently issued; it makes their rule applying to ANY cannabis extract null and void.

What Happens Now?

One important thing to remember is, the DEA says that marijuana extracts will “remain in Schedule I”. What they failed to put into their language is that some extracts are not part of the law – at all. So, basically what needs to happen is that someone needs to challenge this ruling, put their own laws in front of them and force them to either retract their decision last week, or create an entire new law to abolish what was already in place. Neither course of action is an easy one, but without further legislation (on a federal level), the DEA may continue to throw its weight around and just do whatever it wants to do (big problem).

The DEA has the authority to make rules, but is not permitted to create laws. That is overstepping its jurisdictional power. In essence, it’s an abuse of process.

A Couple Final Points

Unfortunately, this big hit to the cannabis industry is going to be a battle. Although the evidence is easily available in black and white, in federally decided documents, the DEA is still going to try to fight their rulings. I wouldn’t put it past them to work with Congress to make this law, although it would be a battle that may win, but only for a temporary time because eventually, cannabis will be wholly legal in the U.S. It’s only a matter of time because more and more states are legalizing cannabis in some form, countries around the world are legalizing and decriminalizing – it’s time the U.S. was “up-to-speed” with medical research and society. It’s a waiting game.

Advice: Don’t go hog-wild buying/selling cannabis extracts and CBD oils to those that don’t have medical cannabis cards or where cannabis is not legal in your state. Lay low, and be patient. I’m sure this will all be rectified soon.

We’ll bring you updates on this as they’re made available as nothing’s really happening yet. I have no doubts that we’ll soon be seeing lawsuits filed against the DEA for this gross use of power.

What are your thoughts on the DEA using power it doesn’t have in this situation?

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