For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
Lollipops Are Made With Cannabis Flower Essential Oil
- Not Hemp Seed Oil
Cannabis Flower Essential Oil Is Not Exempt
from the Controlled Substances Act
WASHINGTON, DC —
Vote Hemp, which advocates for industrial hemp in Washington,
DC, and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), representing
over 200 hemp companies, are concerned by recent Associated
Press and USA Today news reports alleging
that lollipops "flavored with hemp oil" are
"legal." Hemp seed oil is in fact not used
in such candies, and both groups are formally advising
that last year's federal court decision affirming the
legality of hemp seed and oil foods DOES NOT cover candies
or other products made with Cannabis flower essential
oil. This essential oil is steam-distilled from the
resin in the flowers and leaves of the Cannabis plant
and/or from trace resin in the exempted portions of
the plant, including stalks, and thus remains controlled
and unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Joe Sandler, HIA's attorney and counsel
in HIA v. DEA, in a February 24, 2004 legal advisory
the HIA sent to its membership, clarified that the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld legal hemp
foods was limited to those made from hemp seeds or oil
derived from the seed, but does not apply to the Cannabis
flower essential oil used to flavor some candy products.
(You can read the court ruling here.)
"Cannabis flavored lollipops and candy should not
be considered a hemp food under the exemption in the
Controlled Substances Act [21 U.S.C. §802(16)],"
stated Mr. Sandler. "Although Cannabis flavored
candies likely will not cause a psychoactive effect
and contain insignificant trace amounts of THC, they
will be considered illegal insofar as they include fragrance
or flavorings derived from the non-exempt trace resin
of hemp stalks or other parts of the Cannabis plant."
On February 6, 2004 the HIA won their
2 1/2-year-old lawsuit HIA v. DEA, invalidating the
Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) misguided attempt
to rewrite the definition of marijuana to include nutritious
and safe hemp seed and hemp seed oil. However, brands
such as "Chronic Candy" and "Pot Suckers"
are importing and selling candies flavored with Cannabis
flower essential oil not covered under HIA v. DEA.
"While there is no drug effect from
the Cannabis flower essential oil, we understand the
efforts of federal and state law enforcement authorities
to stop the marketing and sale of these products that
prominently associate with marijuana and are not exempted
from the CSA," says David Bronner, Chair of the
Food and Oil Committee of the HIA. "Such marketing
and sale can only lead to public confusion about bonafide
hemp seed and oil in safe, healthy foods that are intentionally
not marketed as having anything to do with marijuana."
"The bottom line is that these candies
are being marketed solely to play off marijuana, and
the Cannabis flower essential oil is a marijuana flavoring
that has nothing to do with industrial hemp," says
Tom Murphy, National Outreach Coordinator for Vote Hemp.
"These lollipops are, in the eyes of the law, pot-on-a-stick,
and should not in any way be associated with nutritious
hemp foods, no more than controlled opium essential
oil fragrance should be confused with exempt poppy seeds
consumed on bagels every day."
Hemp Foods are Safe and Nutritious
Hemp seed derived from non-psychoactive
industrial hemp is one of the most perfect nutritional
resources in all of nature. In addition to its mild
nutty flavor, the seed meat protein supplies all essential
amino acids in an easily-digestible form and with a
high protein efficiency ratio. But most importantly,
hemp seed and hemp seed oil offer high concentrations
of two essential fatty acids (EFAs), omega-3 and omega-6,
in perfect balance. EFAs are the "good fats"
that doctors recommend as part of a healthy, balanced
diet. This superior nutritional profile makes hemp nut
(shelled seed) and hemp seed oil ideal for a wide range
of functional food applications and as an effective
fatty acid supplement. Given that the FDA is warning
pregnant and nursing mothers about trace mercury in
fish and fish oil supplements that are the traditional
omega-3 sources in the American diet, hemp seed and
hemp seed oil foods are experiencing incredible growth
in natural food stores around the country. The recently-revived
global hemp market is a thriving commercial success.
The U.S. is the only major industrialized nation to
prohibit the growing of industrial hemp.
For more information on industrial hemp,
please visit www.VoteHemp.com, the Web site of Vote
Hemp, a non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance
of industrial hemp.