U.S Appeals Court Denies Attempt to Reclassify CBD
Back in 2016, a case was opened after the Drug Enforcement Agency issued a ruling declaring CBD is an illegal drug, throwing it under the same group as THC based cannabis extracts, such as rosin, shatter and wax. Manufacturers of hemp were vocally outraged at this classification, immediately aiming to appeal this ruling to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The DEA claims that the classification of CBD being a “marihuana extract” is to track quantities of this type of material separately from marihuana, in order to comply with relevant treaties.
On April 30th, 2018, a panel of three judges sided with the DEA, upholding the decision to classify CBD as a Schedule I controlled substance. Compounds scheduled in this category are described under the following rules:
- The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
- The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
- There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision
Understandably, hemp-based companies were outraged at CBD being illegal, and federally scheduled in the same category as heroin. Though CBD doesn’t exactly fall under any of the three rules, the law stands for now and puts a hamper on progress for the hemp industry as a whole.
There is still hope for the hemp industry!
Though the initial decision has been made, attorneys can appeal the ruling within 45 days. If the 9th Cir. Court of Appeals maintains their position, the hemp industry can attempt to bring the case to the Supreme Court.
That’s not the only opportunity for CBD to be removed from any federally prohibited lists though. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was proposed on April 12th, 2018, aspiring to remove industrial hemp from any scheduling.
Industrial hemp is defined as a cannabis plant which contains less than 0.3% THC. If the bill were to be passed, hemp would then be treated as an ordinary agricultural commodity instead of a Schedule I Controlled Substance.
Why is hemp and CBD so important though?
The rapidly growing industry isn’t sprouting up for no reason. CBD has a plethora of medical benefits attached to it. From being able to rapidly stop epileptic seizures to acting as a moderate anti-inflammatory, there’s a massive list of therapeutic qualities
Hemp on its own has huge benefits. The fiber can be used to make textiles such as clothing or bedding, the oils can be used for cooking, candles and lotions. Biodegradable plastics are often made using hemp, and it can be used in construction materials to make them more durable and weather-resistant.
Not to mention the economic benefit. The amount of jobs and economic stimulus that would occur as a result of legal hemp plants is substantial.
There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of room for market growth in the hemp industry, and it may be one of the keys to the future of agriculture.
We’ll have to wait and see what’ll happen in the future for CBD. With the legalization of cannabis on the federal level in Canada set to take effect in the later stages of this summer, Legal CBD wont be a problem and will become unscheduled and available without the need of a prescription. Perhaps the United States, and other countries too, might quickly follow suit.