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For Immediate Release
June 7, 2004

CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-232-8997, 202-744-2671

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Will Consider Rehearing on Hemp Food Decision
Clock Stops on Bush Administration for Filing Appeal
to the Supreme Court until Ninth Circuit Rules

WASHINGTON, DC — Manufacturers of hemp food products who won their 2 1/2-year old court battle on February 6 to keep hemp foods legal to consume are waiting for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to consider the possibility of giving the Drug Enforcement Administration an En Banc hearing. The decision late last week to consider a rehearing stops the clock on a July 5th deadline for the Bush Administration to appeal to the Supreme Court in HIA v. DEA. If the Ninth Circuit turns down the DEA's request for a rehearing, the Bush Administration will then have another 90 days to appeal to the Supreme Court. The DEA's petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court was due by May 6th, but the deadline was extended for a second time by the Supreme Court until July 5th last week per the request of Solicitor General Theodore Olson. See http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/03a878.htm. The July 5th deadline is now irrelevant because the case is still being considered in the lower court.

"Manufacturers of healthy foods containing omega-3 rich hemp nut and oil are confident that the DEA cannot win a rehearing in the Ninth Circuit," says David Bronner, Chair of the Hemp Industries Association's (HIA) Food and Oil Committee and President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "The three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that the DEA ignored the specific Congressional exemption in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that excludes hemp fiber, seed and oil from control along with poppy seeds. The Court reasonably viewed as insignificant and irrelevant harmless trace amounts of THC in hemp seed, just like harmless trace amounts of opiates in poppy seeds," says Bronner.

Fighting the DEA's attempted ban has thus far cost leading hemp companies over $200,000. Nevertheless the industry is prepared to spend additional resources to fight all DEA appeals. "The public and media should question the DEA's waste of tax dollars in trying to crush the legitimate hemp food industry," says Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp.

Hemp Foods are Safe and Nutritious — DEA Rules Were Ridiculous!

Hemp seed is one of the most perfect nutritional resources in all of nature. In addition to its excellent flavor profile, 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 oil offer high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in a perfect ratio of the omega-3/omega-6 acids. EFA's are the "good fats" that doctors recommend as part of a healthy, balanced diet. This superior nutritional profile makes hemp nut (shelled seed) and oil ideal for a wide range of functional food applications and as an effective fatty acid supplement. Not surprisingly, hemp nut and oil are increasingly used in natural food products, such as breads, frozen waffles, cereals, nutrition bars, meatless burgers and salad dressings.

Eating Hemp Food Does Not Interfere with Workplace Drug-Tests

U.S. 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 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 is a thriving commercial success. Unfortunately, because of their paranoia DEA has confused non-psychoactive industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive varieties, and thus 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 202-232-8997.

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