For Immediate Release
March 8, 2002
Contact Adam Eidinger / Mintwood
Media at (202) 986-6186
NINTH CIRCUIT COURT BLOCKS DEA HEMP
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — U.S.
COURT of APPEALS for the NINTH CIRCUIT —
Late yesterday the Court granted
the hemp industry's Motion to Stay the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration's (DEA's) "Interpretive
Rule," which was issued October 9, 2001 without
public notice or opportunity for comment and would have
banned the sale of nutritious hemp foods containing
harmless trace amounts of naturally-occurring THC under
the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970. Just this
week the industry had learned that the Ninth Circuit's
Motions panel had referred the industry's Motion to
Stay to the Merits panel, who had in turn scheduled
expedited oral arguments for April 8. Due to this
turn of events, the industry had not expected that a
ruling would be forthcoming on their Motion to Stay
and was happily surprised to learn that the motion had
The Motion to Stay was brought jointly
by the Hemp
Industries Association (HIA) and several major hemp
food companies in the U.S. and Canada. The court is
currently hearing a substantive challenge to the interpretive
rule, and in light of today's ruling, the hemp industry
is optimistic that the Court will ultimately invalidate
the DEA's rule, as one of the prime criteria in granting
the Stay was whether the hemp industry is likely to
ultimately prevail on the merits of the case.
Because trace infinitesimal THC in hemp
seed is non-psychoactive and insignificant, the U.S.
non-viable hemp seed and oil from control under the
CSA, just as Congress exempted poppy seeds from
the CSA, although they contain trace opiates otherwise
subject to control. The hemp industry is assuring retailers
and consumers that hemp food products should continue
to be stocked, sold and consumed. Joe Sandler, counsel
for the HIA, stated: "The Court's order effectively
prevents the DEA from enforcing its Interpretive Rule
until a final ruling by the Court on the validity of
the DEA's action. With this stay in effect, all those
who sell, import, manufacture, distribute and retail
edible hemp oil and seed, and oil and seed products,
can continue those activities secure in the knowledge
that such products remain perfectly lawful."
Hemp seed has a well-balanced protein
content and the highest content of essential fatty acids
(EFAs) of any oil in nature: EFAs are the "good
fats" that, like vitamins, the body does not produce
and requires for good health. Dr.
Udo Erasmus, an internationally recognized nutritional
authority on fats and oils, writes in Fats that
Heal — Fats that Kill: "Hemp seed oil
may be nature's most perfectly balanced oil." Not
surprisingly, shelled hemp seed and oil are increasingly
used in natural food products, such as corn chips, nutrition
bars, hummus, nondairy milks, breads and cereals. In
the last few years, the hemp foods industry has grown
from less than $1 million a year to over $5 million
in retail sales.
The court ruling allows the hemp foods
industry segment to continue its phenomenal expansion.
Unlike the U.S., other Western countries (such as Canada,
Germany and Australia) have adopted rational THC limits
for foods, similar to those voluntarily observed by
North American hemp food companies which protect consumers
with a wide margin of safety from any psychoactive effects
or workplace drug-testing interference (see hemp industry
standards regarding trace THC at http://www.TestPledge.com).
The 10-year-old global hemp market is
a thriving commercial success. Unfortunately, because
the DEA's Drug-War paranoia has confused non-psychoactive
industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive
"marijuana" varieties, the U.S. is the only
major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing
of industrial hemp.
For more information, or to arrange interviews
with representatives of the hemp industry, please call
Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186.