Proposed DEA Hemp Regulations Opposed by Senators, Industry Leaders 

 October 27, 2020

By  Stratis Hemp

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Two U.S. senators who authored the 2018 Hemp Farming Act legalizing industrial hemp, are pushing back on what they say is Drug Enforcement Agency overreach.

Recently proposed rules changes by the agency would allow it to regulate, "any cannabis material above the 0.3% THC limit," leading many to conclude the agency is attempting to criminalize hemp processing, during which time it is common for THC levels to temporarily exceed 0.3%.

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both of whom wrote the provision in the 2018 Farm Bill to legalize hemp, recently sent a letter to the DEA expressing “strong objections” to its “unilateral and uncalled for” interim final rule (IFR) on hemp.

“In effect, the IFR criminalizes the intermediate steps of hemp processing, which is wholly inconsistent with Congress’s clearly stated purpose and the text of the 2018 Farm Bill,” the senators wrote. “In our view, the IFR rewrites the 2018 Farm Bill contrary to Congressional intent.”

“The [DEA] IFR purports to merely implement the 2018 Farm Bill when, in fact, it does significantly more. The IFR treats hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance at any point its THC content exceeds 0.3% THC. However, when Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, we understood that intermediate stages of hemp processing can cause hemp extracts to temporarily exceed 0.3% THC, which is why we defined hemp based on its delta-9 THC level,” Wyden and Merkley write in their letter. “Further, we defined hemp’s THC content on a dry weight basis because dry weight measurements are commonly taken from the initial hemp plant and final hemp-derived product.”

Read the full article at https://www.hempgrower.com

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