Court Upholds Federal Ban On CBD
A federal appeals court has sided with the Drug Enforcement Administration, ruling that CBD is a Schedule 1 substance under federal law.
The decision, made on Monday by a 9th Circuit three-judge panel in San Francisco, delivers a huge blow to the hemp industry, which, in previous years, had made millions of dollars in revenue. According to Hemp Industry Daily, hemp companies will now only be allowed to sell CBD products in states where cannabidiol is legal under state law.
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Back in 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued a 'clarifying rule', stating CBD is an illegal drug because it is produced from the marijuana flower. However, various hemp companies pushed back against the ruling, stating that CBD can also be extracted from the hemp flower and that the DEA was trying to add a new substance to the Controlled Substances Act, an action out of line with its duties.
However, the DEA claimed it was only 'clarifying' existing law and officials claimed there were "no substantive change to the government's control of any substance."
On Monday, the 9th Circuit agreed with DEA, effectively allowing its rule on CBD to take effect.
Those in the hemp industry wishing to appeal the decision now have 45 days in which to do so. If the 9th Circuit once again sides with the DEA, the hemp industry could appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Michael Brubeck, CEO of Centuria Natural Foods, told Hemp Industry Daily, "We will be appealing, and we will be funding that appeal."
CBD oil derived from hemp has historically been more appealing to conservative states wishing to implement some form of a medical program as it was commonly thought to fall outside of what the federal government considers illegal. The 2016 DEA rule put many of these states in violation of federal law and the 9th Circuit's recent support of that rule has made it clear CBD in all forms is federally illegal.
It seems, for now at least, CBD remains illegal under federal law, regardless of whether it is derived from the hemp or marijuana plant.