For Immediate Release
April 17, 2003
Contact Adam Eidinger / Mintwood
Media at (202) 986-6186
Ninth Circuit Court Blocks
DEA Hemp Rule
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
Rule," which was issued March 21, 2003 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.
This "Final Rule" is virtually identical to
Rule" issued on October 9, 2001 that never
went into effect because of a Ninth
Circuit Court Stay issued on March 7, 2002.
Both Motions to Stay were 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 Final Rule, which the
hemp industry is optimistic that the Court will ultimately
Because trace infinitesimal THC in hemp
seed is non-psychoactive and insignificant, the U.S.
Congress exempted 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 'Final
Rule.' 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.
North American hemp food companies voluntarily
observe reasonable THC limits similar to those adopted
by European nations as well as Canada and Australia.
These limits 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 DEA has hypocritically not targeted
food manufacturers for using poppy seeds (in bagels
and muffins, for example) even though they contain far
higher levels of trace opiates. The recently-revived
global hemp market, with retail sales of over $250 million
worldwide, is a thriving commercial success. Unfortunately,
because the DEA's Drug War paranoia has confused non-psychoactive
industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive
"marihuana" varieties, the U.S. is the only
major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing
of industrial hemp.
Visit www.VoteHemp.com to read court
documents and numerous scientific
studies concerning hemp foods. For more information
or to arrange interviews with representatives of the
hemp industry, please call Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186.