Hemp Trade Association Challenges DEA Cannabis Rule
The Hemp Industries Association and RE Botanicals Inc. have filed a lawsuit challenging the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) interim final rule implementing changes to the scope of the agency’s control over cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp Industry Ass’n v. DEA, No. __ (D.C. Cir., filed September 18, 2020). “The DEA’s interim final rule clarifies that all hemp derivatives or extracts exceeding 0.3% THC shall remain Schedule I controlled substances,” the industry group’s press release states. “This could be interpreted to include intermediate hemp derivatives that temporarily exceed 0.3% during processing, but contain less than 0.3% in final products. As such, it improperly establishes the DEA’s authority over legal hemp activities, which is contrary to the plain language and intent of the 2018 [F]arm [B]ill.” The plaintiffs argue that the DEA interim final rule was arbitrary and capricious and beyond the agency’s jurisdiction, and they urge the court to hold the rule to be unlawful on those grounds.