Is Big Brother DEA stirring the pot or not? A few days ago, we covered the news on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) filing the “Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract” in the federal register. The take was that this move is just for internal clarification on research.
Is the DEA stirring the pot or not? Some believe the new code on marijuana extracts put CBD extract in an illegal spot.
Westword.com says that the seemingly innocent entry by the DEA on Marihuana (not marijuana) extracts is to be taken much more seriously than was first implied. Let’s take a look if it is only newsworthy, or whether the DEA is indeed stirring up yet another storm around CBD extract.
Most business and individuals dealing in CBD do so under the assumption that CBD oil containing less than 0.3% THC passes as hemp, and is legal. This entry by the DEA would dispose of this notion completely says Westword.
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CBD is included in the definition of a marijuana extract
Why should this be? The controversy has arisen because of the definition of “Marihuana Extract” entered. It is considered “as an extract containing one or more cannabinoids derived from any plant of the Cannabis genus, other than the separated resin (purified or crude) obtained from the plant.”
In other words, the entry applies to any extract from any plant from the Cannabis genus. This includes CBD, hemp, THC and implies that any extract from cannabis falls under Schedule 1 classification.
New code for all marijuana extracts
To date, marijuana has a code under the federal Controlled Substance Act, code: 7360, the new entry updates “Marihuana Extract” to a new code, 7350. Now any entity handling marijuana extracts will have to register under code 7350, and update annually.
There are reports that those affected have only 30 days to complete paperwork before they will be considered as being in violation. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, there are currently 1,444,069 registered medical marijuana patients in the US. Most of them are using medicine based on marijuana extracts.
Experts are outraged
Experts are outraged says Westword. The California Cannabis Industry Association executive director, Nate Bradley, says the DEA is showing disregard of facts, as it is a very well-established fact that CBD has many medicinal uses, including prevention of seizures in epilepsy and reducing inflammation.
Jeffrey Zucker from Green Lion Partners says that the DEA’s move is ignorant and misguided. CBD extract does nothing but good for people, and for it to be seen as equal to heroin is absolutely absurd. He is hopeful that the backlash against this action will make the DEA think again, as this decision benefits no one except the pharmaceutical industry.
New code is to comply internationally
When the change was announced, it was justified by the DEA as bringing the US in alignment with international drug-law treaties. Chuck Rosenberg, acting DEA Administrator, says previously there were code numbers to distinguish marihuana and tetrahydrocannabinols, but not for extracts. The new code is to comply with treaty provisions.
Watch this space
There are also those that say the DEA’s ruling will not have any effect on the status quo. Already, THC is used as a medicine in states that have taken a different stance to that of federal government, and then there is the legislation allowing hemp products to be produced or imported to consider…
The outcome of this action will be very interesting to witness. Watch this space, as the next episode of the drama (or storm in a teacup, depending on your view) unfolds.