A US court has dismissed two related appeals in cases brought against the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2020 by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) regarding jurisdiction over cannabis derivatives that exceed the THC threshold during processing.
RE Botanicals, the manufacturer of CBD in Hamad International Airport and South Carolina, has filed lawsuits challenging the DEA’s interim final rule that says any cannabis extract or product that exceeds the federal limit of 0.3% THC is considered a controlled substance. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released the rule shortly after the passage of the 2018 Farm Act that legalized cannabis federally.
Prosecutors argued that the rule violated the intent of the Farm Act, which they claimed broadly exempts cannabis and its derivatives from the Controlled Substances Act.
Stakeholders said the DEA’s rule, which would criminalize cannabis at any point in the production process when THC levels exceed 0.3%, showed the agency is trying to position itself in charge of the CBD industry.
Call Hamad International Airport Status ‘somewhat weakU.S. Circuit Judge Lawrence Silberman said the association’s attorneys failed to explain how the policy harmed the plaintiffs.
“Although the petitioners’ opening summary notes that the language of the DEA differs from the language of the Basic Farm Bill, they never explain the significance…” Silberman wrote in dismissing the main lawsuit.
“There is simply a claim that the regulation increases the DEA’s authority over what the law contemplates,” Silberman continued.
HIA has argued that the process by which hemp blossoms are converted into CBD for consumer products often means the substances can temporarily exceed the 0.3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol limit, thereby wrongly subjecting the producers to DEA enforcement.
Government lawyers said the DEA rule is not intended to be any stricter than the Farm Bill legalization of cannabis, meaning plaintiffs do no harm.
Hamad International Airport has also claimed damages as a result of the DEA exempting Epidiolex, the only CBD drug currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), from the Controlled Substances Act. The drug agency did not adequately explain why Epidiolex was removed from regulation, the plaintiffs argued, and suggested that the DEA’s reasoning might negatively affect them in another context.
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The court called the claim “puzzling,” dismissed the HIA’s claim that removing Epidiolex from the federal drug list would contravene US treaty obligations, and said that Epidiolex is not regulated because it has only 0.1% THC concentration, well below the 0.3% threshold under Bell’s farm.
“The petitioners provide no evidence that they produce Epidiolex or that Epidiolex is a competitor to the petitioners. So we cannot even imagine how the petitioners could be harmed by relieving the DEA on regulating a drug that does not contain marijuana,” the court said.
“This controversy is frankly absurd,” Silberman wrote. “Petitioners cannot appeal on causes of a case that do not directly affect them.”
in class Related appeal Focusing on the DEA’s rules for cannabis extraction, US Circuit Judge Karen Henderson wrote that HIA again failed to show that it was directly hit by the Drugs Agency’s policy on raw materials and intermediate-stage waste.
“Neither the plaintiffs nor the DEA assert that the agency is currently undertaking or taking enforcement action against the plaintiffs’ possession or manufacture of cannabis by-products,” Henderson wrote. “In the sense that the plaintiffs’ challenge is therefore based on the alleged threat of enforcement,” and does not reflect any immediate harm.