The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) just dropped a bomb on the U.S. hemp industry by releasing an Interim Final Rule that criminalizes “wet hemp,” a partially processed hemp extract created during the process of developing raw hemp into consumer hemp products.
The 2018 Farm Bill states, “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Hemp derivatives, extracts and products need to go through an extraction process that results in the creation of wet hemp, which has THC concentrations in excess of 0.3%.
The Interim Final Rule ignores that hemp processors are technically handling a schedule I controlled substance, although finished hemp products for consumers contain no more than 0.3% THC. The rule creates significant legal risk for persons processing hemp.
Americans will have to rely on Congress or a federal court to resolve this issue.
Arizona is one of the largest hemp producers in the United States.
Louis DeLuca The Dallas Morning News via AP