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CBD News Roundup: HIA & RE Botanicals Partner To Block DEA Ruling On Hemp Extracts

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Written by The CBD Insider

Here’s the latest CBD news:

  • The Hemp Industries Association and South Carolina CBD manufacturer, RE Botanicals, have filed a second lawsuit to block an alleged attempt by the US Drug Enforcement Administration to criminalize hemp extracts.
  • The US Small Business Association has requested changes to five proposed rules in the US Department of Agriculture’s plan on hemp production.

HIA & RE Botanicals Partner to Block DEA Ruling on Hemp Extracts

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and South Carolina CBD manufacturer, RE Botanicals—a Trusted Brand of The CBD Insider—have filed suit over the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) alleged attempt to criminalize hemp extracts.

While the DEA argues it is simply updating its policies to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill, the suit alleges that the agency is declaring hemp extracts as Schedule 1 controlled substances. According to the suit, the plaintiffs believe the DEA is setting the groundwork to potentially criminalize work in progress hemp extract at a specific portion of the extraction process when the hemp material temporarily spikes above the legal amount (0.3% by dry weight).

The lawsuit filed this week in D.C. District Court is the second legal action from HIA and RE Botanicals, and it asks the court to block the DEA from enforcing its policy and prevent the agency from issuing rules on hemp production. 

RE Botanicals and other CBD makers claim the rule would put them out of business unless it is changed. 

The DEA will accept public comments on its policy update through late October while the HIA and other hemp and marijuana activists have asked members to write letters of opposition.

SBA Requests Changes To USDA’s Hemp Production Rules

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has formally asked the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Marketing Service to reconsider five proposed rules regarding hemp production. 

The comments were submitted just before last week’s deadline. The SBA’s Office of Advocacy urged the USDA to change the following five proposed rules:

  • Allow for remediation and on-farm disposal of non-compliant crops.
  • Lengthen the 15-day harvest window.
  • Include more than the top one-third of the plant in testing.
  • Reconsider the measurement of uncertainty for sampling to account for variables in pre-sampling activities.
  • Strike the requirement that labs be registered with the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to the SBA’s advocacy office, the proposed rules favor large businesses. The office argues this threatens the livelihoods of small businesses, based on outreach conducted with small hemp farmers, labs, producers, universities, and other hemp industry advocates.

“Small businesses remain deeply concerned about the impact this rule will have on their ability to legally grow hemp should the rule be finalized without any modifications,” said the SBA in its formal comments.

“The rule has already stifled the industry as many farmers have chosen not to grow hemp this year until they are certain about what the requirements are, and whether they can produce compliant crops without the risk of a total loss of their investment due to mandatory destruction of hot crops. In some instances, they have noted that the rules are so stringent that they feel as though they are being set up to fail.”

Recently, Congress signed a budget bill extending the grandfather period for the hemp regulations in the 2014 Farm Bill by another year.

USDA representatives told farmers that they are looking at all industry comments and crop data with a goal to release their updated ruling sometime in the spring.

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