Hemp CBD Companies Should Worry About FDA Intervention, Not DEA
A couple of months have passed since the DEA rescheduled CBD to a schedule 1 drug, but the real problem may be FDA intervention.
It’s been nearly two months since mainstream media outlets and several cannabis publications published headlines claiming that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was rescheduling cannabidiol (CBD) into a Schedule 1 substance and that some serious, Drug War-era crackdowns were coming.
We reported then, and stand by our coverage, that this is not the case. The DEA did not target the hemp CBD industry but instead created a new tracking code for the agency to categorize cannabis concentrates separately from flower, plants, and other products. Confusing verbiage in the rule change, which took effect January 13, led to the widely-reported misunderstanding; however, the fact remains that CBD from cannabis has always been considered a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
It wasn’t until the 2014 Congressional Farm Bill that industrial hemp (which, under federal law, must contain less than 0.3 percent THC) was legalized. Lawmakers accomplished this not by removing hemp or CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, but by prohibiting the Department of Justice from spending funds on prosecuting state-legal hemp operations, which laid the groundwork for the CBD hemp market. Only Congress — not the DEA — has the power to undo that act.