As reported by The Cannabist, the DEA may be called to task for their recent declaration against CBD oil. Last month, the DEA enacted a ruling that would establish a Controlled Substance Code Number for all marijuana based derivatives, including CBD oil. The final rule was called “Establishment of New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract” and included a clause that made CBD oil, a non-psychoactive oil derived from marijuana, a Schedule I substance. The ruling declares that everything containing any element of a marijuana plant is a controlled substance. This places CBD oil (which is usually used as a natural anti-seizure medication, anti-inflammatory and pain reliever) in the Schedule I category, alongside heroin and LSD, as one of the most dangerous drugs, containing no medicinal value. The decision upset the already booming cannabis and hemp industry that have countless products on the market that have not presented any problems.
The Groups Behind the CBD Oil Lawsuit
With the cannabis industry in a state of panic and upheaval following the decision, 2 hemp companies and a fellow associate have decided to file a lawsuit against the DEA, claiming they have overstepped their bounds and put an entire well established industry at risk. Hemp Industries Association, Centuria Natural Foods and RMH Holdings LLC have contracted the services of Hoban Law Group, a firm based out of Denver, Colorado that specializes in marijuana related issues.
The attorneys at Hoban filed the lawsuit which stated that “the final rule creates this new drug code, indicative of being a controlled substance, for substances which are in fact not controlled pursuant to the (Controlled Substances Act). Specifically, the final rule dictates that the mere presence of ‘cannabinoids,’ which are not controlled substances, is the determinative factor of whether a compound is a ‘marihuana extract’.”
The DEA Stands By Its Decision
Russ Baer, spokesperson for the DEA, has stated that he cannot comment on a petition that he has seen but he has made it clear that the DEA stand by their ruling. He says that every single aspect of marijuana, including hemp, is considered a controlled substance. This includes every compound, derivative, salt or preparation of any substance made from any part of a cannabis plant. He claims that, until the DEA receives conclusive scientific proof of the plant’s medicinal benefits from a DEA registrant or person given authority by the DEA to research marijuana, it will remain a Schedule I substance and so will all its derivatives. Until now, the DEA has not authorized the medicinal research of marijuana which means there has been no way of establishing any DEA approved proof. They have, however, decided that they will begin to approve medical research although there are many hoops to jump through before research can be undertaken.
The lawsuit disagrees, claiming that under the Controlled Substances Act, the mature stalk of a marijuana plant can be used legally. The 2014 Farm Bill also allows states to create industrial hemp laws. It is also legal to import industrial hemp. Since CBD oil can be made from industrial hemp, it cannot technically be termed illegal. Hoban is stating in the lawsuit that the DEA has no legal authority to declare something that is currently legal illegal without approval from Congress. The lawsuit asks the court to overturn the final rule of the DEA.