I have been asked time and time again, “How are you selling weed? Isn’t it illegal? To be honest, it just depends on who you talk to. It is legal but by a very thin line. And it’s Hemp, not weed or marihuana.
Let’s start with why some authority figures may say that CBD, or Hemp Extracts to be more specific, are illegal. Under the controlled substances act, all living parts of the Marihuana plant (I know I grind my teeth every time I see Marijuana spelled that way) are illegal besides sterilized seeds and the fibers of the stalks. It’s that simple, no “Marihuana” boys and girls.
“(16) The term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.” – Title 21 United States Code (USC) Controlled Substances Act
Now not to be a pain in the government’s butt (wait, yes I am) but wouldn’t that then leave out Cannabis Indica, Ruderalis, and Rasta as legal forms of Cannabis? …..anyways.
As things go for Hemp; well the DEA doesn’t even know, or at least wouldn’t give me a yes or no answer. When I called the Jacksonville Florida office, I spoke with an investigator asking if CBD derived from hemp is legal. I couldn’t get anything near a straightforward response. All he could tell me is that it is up to the federal, state and local governments, depending on who’s laws are more stringent. He also stated that they cannot give legal advice on the subject and that they simply enforce the law. The best advice he could give me was to look up the different laws and interpret them to the best of my knowledge.
This left me a little perplexed as the DEA had written a Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp attempting to do just that. The DEA, FDA, and USDA released a notice in 2016 saying that Hemp is Cannabis Sativa L. and it is not protected by the Farm Bill, but that is, of course, their interpretation of the law, and as the investigator I spoke with stated, they simply enforce the law and cannot give out legal advice. It should also be noted that they cannot make the laws either.
Now here is where things get interesting. Remember earlier about the DEA referencing the Farm Bill? When the Agricultural Act, Sec.7606 commonly referred to as the Farm Bill was enacted in 2014 the government unwittingly gave Cannabis Sativa L. a whole new name, Industrial Hemp. Hemp is not bound by the Controlled Substance Act or the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Now, of course, you cannot grow industrial hemp without the proper licensing. And as a business, we cannot make claims to any medicinal benefits from using hemp or hemp extracts. But you can, according to the interpretations by many, including those in Congress, buy, sell and possess industrial hemp.
Even though industrial hemp is legal thanks to the Farm Bill, there are things you can do to help keep you safe during this great debacle. Make sure to purchase from companies that clearly state their products are made from hemp. Do not use any other packaging to carry or transport your hemp products. And keep in mind some authorities may have a different understanding of the law, so it’s always best to be discrete about things. At least for now.