Hemp extract producers are on high alert about a DEA rule meant to align the agency’s regulations, especially after the 2018 Farm Bill. The hemp producers are strongly disputing the law that could make CBD oil and other hemp extracts schedule 1 substances.
The new rule released last month did not have a clear language according to the industry players. From the rule, the 2018 Farm Bill does not automatically make any hemp extracts free from the crackdown on substances with more than 0.3% THC.
It should be noted that during processing, the THC levels in the extracts can spike higher than the 0.3% legal threshold. According to Jack Tatum, the managing partner at Isolera Extracts in Northern Carolina, the THC levels can go three times more than the legal limit.
All substances that are labeled as schedule 1 attract criminal offenses to anyone found in possession. Jack Tatum reiterates that he currently knows no extraction and processing method where the THC levels do not rise. He confirmed that after the processing, the THC levels are diluted to concur with the 0.3% limit.
According to Shawn Hauser, a cannabis attorney based in Denver, several industry lawyers and groups are looking through the new law,
Andrea Hope Steel, another cannabis attorney working with the Coats Rose firm, said that the hemp industry needs further clarity from the Drug Enforcement Agency. She acknowledged that she does not want to see anybody arrested and criminally charged for something lacking clarity.
Meanwhile, the National Hemp Association (NHA) asked its members to calm down as the DEA restated the language from the 2008 Farm Bill. However, the association urged the members to write letters to the DEA opposing the new rule.
In its defense, through its spokesperson, Sean Mitchell, the DEA said that it is aware of the stalemate and was looking into multiple solutions.