If you’ve been reading the headlines, you may have questions regarding the legality of products containing CBD. The D.E.A. created drug code 7350 in 2017 that defined all cannabis extracts as a controlled substance. This has created a lot of confusion, especially in the hemp oil industry, as all hemp oil derived products naturally contain cannabinoids ~ which is a type of “cannabis extract”. To truly understand the root of the confusion, it’s important to know that Hemp and Marijuana are BOTH considered cannabis. Cannabis is species of plant ~ “marijuana” and “hemp” are legal definitions. The United States federal government considers any cannabis plant grown without the approval of a State Approved Hemp Pilot program, to be marijuana, regardless of what cannabinoids are present or at what potency levels. If you connected the dots, you may have come to the conclusion that cannabis extracts derived from “marijuana” are illegal, but extracts derived from “Farm Bill Compliant Hemp” are not considered a controlled substance and are indeed legal. If you didn’t, don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
So, why the confusion? Well, the federal law is complicated and unfortunately even though this drug code does not apply to Farm Bill Compliant Hemp products, some local and state agencies have mistakenly seized “cannabis extract” products derived from industrial hemp believing they were either derived from “marijuana” or more likely, didn’t realize there was a legal and complaint way to sell cannabis extracts without state approval. Section 7606 of the US Farm Bill wasn’t added until 2014 and it has taken a few years for industrial hemp products to garner national attention. Because of this, many agencies are just now getting brought up to speed on the legality of Farm Bill compliant hemp products. Drug Code 7350 has not changed the law nor has it changed the interpretation of Cannabis laws, but it has created a lot of misinformation and confusion ~ most of which we hope to clarify in this post.
So why the recent headlines claiming that CBD products are now illegal because of new drug code 7350? Well, as we discussed in great length in our post about why the Texas Department (previously) thought CBD products were illegal, we provided an in depth overview of the then ongoing lawsuit with the Hemp Industry Association (HIA) Vs. the D.E.A.. Originally the definition of drug code 7350 was even more broad than it is today. This prompted the HIA to sue the D.E.A. to remove the new drug code altogether since it would likely lead to illegal seizures of Farm Bill Compliant Hemp products. In response to this lawsuit, the D.E.A. has released clarifying statements regarding the purpose behind drug code 7350. You can read the DEA statement here. I’ve also listed their key bullet points verbatim below:
- The new drug code (7350) established in the Final Rule does not include materials or products that are excluded from the definition of marijuana set forth in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).1
- The new drug code includes only those extracts that fall within the CSA definition of marijuana.
- If a product consisted solely of parts of the cannabis plant excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such product would not be included in the new drug code (7350) or in the drug code for marijuana (7360).
To summarize the above ~ drug code 7350 ONLY applies substances that are governed by the Controlled Substance Act. Thankfully the first line in section 7606 of the US farm bill states “In general Notwithstanding the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) which means “in spite of” or in simple terms, “even though the controlled substance act exists, it does not apply to Farm Bill Compliant Industrial Hemp”. If you understand this seemingly small, but very important detail, you now understand that the D.E.A. does not have the authority to treat Farm Bill Compliant products with naturally occurring CBD as a controlled substance, and as such, drug code 7350 has zero impact on the legality of Green Lotus Hemp products. You don’t need to take our word for it, you can hear the head Administrator of the D.E.A., Chuck Rosenberg explicitly state under oath that drug code 7350 does not apply to Farm Bill Complain hempThis small detail is often overlooked and consequently various media outlets will run with the headlines making false claims.
In recent news, the 9th Circuit Court decided to dismiss the lawsuit filled against the D.E.A. to remove this new drug code. The narrative in the media soon became flooded with headlines declaring a victory for the DEA, but in terms of law ~ nothing has changed. Rather the 9th Circuit Court concluded that the Agriculture Act (section 7606 of the farm bill) preempts the controlled substance act avoiding any conflict in the law ~ And that the D.E.A. acted within their legal limits when they created the new drug code. Ultimately this is 100% true, but it doesn’t mean that this new drug code won’t create confusion. Always remember that the DEA enforces law and does not create it. This new drug code does not provide any additional law enforcement permissions.
So… if CBD is derived from cannabis and cannabis comes in two forms ~ Marijuana & Hemp – how can be sure the CBD products you’re using are legal? Well, to help answer this question, we created a simple matrix.
We hope this helps and please leave comments below with any questions you may have. #LetsGrowTogether #RemediesForLife