Congress members strongly oppose DEA‘s hemp ruling while backing flourishing CBD industry

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(FinancialPress) — Members of Congress made an empathic show of support in favor of the CBD and hemp industries, as the DEA brought up once more the argument of that cannabidiol is a Schedule 1 drug and should therefore be regulated as such. Those members filed a brief requesting a federal appeals court to reject the motion presented by the government agency, in conjunction with a pending lawsuit towards the DEA. Arguments in the case will be presented on Feb. 15 at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
A total of 28 Congress members — 22 Democrats and six GOP representatives — disagree with the DEA‘s argument that CBD is a marijuana extract, and should therefore be illegal. They claim that the stance is “blatantly contrary“ to the 2014 Farm Bill.
“The Farm Bill’s definition of industrial hemp includes any part of the plant, including the flower,” the Congress members‘ brief states.

The group‘s closing statement discloses that they perceive the ruling on CBD to be an “abuse of DEA’s administrative procedure and rulemaking authority.”

The lawyer who redacted the brief for the Congress member collective, Steven Cash, told a news outlet that Congress members filed the lawsuit in hopes of the dispute between the Farm Bill and the DEA‘s position on the interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act being resolved by courts.

“Apart from arguing about the relative benefits, flaws and dangers of medical marijuana and hemp, it appears we’re going to solve this (conflict) through traditional avenues, the courts,” Cash said.

Late in 2016, the DEA said that since CBD cannot be easily extracted from non-flower parts of the marijuana plant, it should be labeled a controlled substance. This quickly triggered a lawsuit from the Hemp Industries Association and a CBD company.

“Congress has spoken, yet again,” Bob Hoban, legal representative of the hemp companies, said in a statement. “The industrial hemp industry has seen exponential growth … and this case represents the most significant challenge the U.S. hemp industry has seen to date.”

With the CBD market poised for growth that could reach the $2.1 billion mark by 2020, and notorious companies such as Canopy Growth (TSE:WEED) and Phivida (CSE: VIDA) making strong investments in the sector‘s development, while employing thousands of people across America and developing products that comply with all regulatory guidelines in legalized states, expectations are high for the DEA‘s classification to be dismissed.

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