Just three days after the public comment period closed on the DEA Interim Final Rule, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley sent a letter to DEA Acting Administrator Shea, expressing “strong objections to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s unilateral and uncalled for actions on hemp that run counter to the 2018 Farm Bill and congressional intent by treating this legal crop as a Schedule I controlled substance whenever its THC content exceeds 0.3%.”
The Oregon Senators noted that in the intermediate stages of hemp processing, hemp extracts can temporarily exceed the 0.3% THC threshold that Congress used to define hemp, even though the plant and the final product both meet the threshold.
Key Excerpts from the Letter:
The 2018 Farm Bill formally removed hemp, including its seeds and all “derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids,” whether growing or not, from the purview of the DEA and placed the sole authority to promulgate federal regulations and guidelines that relate to the production of hemp, which includes its derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids, with the Secretary of Agriculture.
…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.
“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.”
Thank you Senators Wyden and Merkley for your continued leadership in protecting the domestic hemp industry.
DEA received over 3300 comments during the public comment period on the IFR. These concerns from both industry and Congress signal the serious need for unified collaboration and support among the national industry for federal lobbying efforts to protect hemp cannabinoid processing.
AgHS’s collaboration on this letter signified the launch of the AgHS Work-in-Progress (WIP) Campaign. The WIP Campaign is focused on aligning federal hemp regulations with the intent of the 2018 Farm Bill and creating a clear legal pathway for manufacturing and interstate transportation of intermediate, work-in-progress hemp, which is threatened by the DEA IFR.
AgHS can empower industry stakeholders like you, by ensuring your voice and business needs are heard in Washington.