DEA Criminalizes CBD Extracts?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the more important cannabinoids present in marijuana and hemp plants, second only to its more famous relative THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. It is generally not considered especially psychoactive on its own, but many people find that it is more effective at treating their symptoms than THC, either on its own or in combination with it. Some find it so effective at treating children with seizure disorders such as Dravet syndrome that sixteen states have actually legalized CBD for medical use.

In another disappointing attack against marijuana, the Obama Administration on December 13 published a final rule in the public register explaining that the Drug Enforcement has created a new administration controlled substances code number–7350–for “Marihuana Extract.” The rule goes on to explain how such extracts remain schedule I drugs.

“(58) Marihuana Extract—7350

“Meaning an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.”

The creation of this new drug code in the DEA regulations for marihuana extracts allows for more appropriate accounting of such materials consistent with treaty provisions. Such marihuana Start Printed Page 90196extracts remain in Schedule I. Entities registered to handle marihuana (under drug code 7360) that also handle marihuana extracts, will need to apply to modify their registrations to add the new drug code 7350 to their existing DEA registrations and procure quotas specifically for drug code 7350 each year.

This will enable the DEA to track any type of extract made from plants in the genus Cannabis, which includes extracts from hemp. While the DEA takes the position that for practical purposes, all CBD extracts contain other cannabinoids (making them illegal under federal law), if someone were to create a CBD extract that had no other cannabinoids at all, it would still fall under this rule.

It is unknown how aggressively the Obama Administration will enforce this rule, especially since the Rohrabacher-Farr medical marijuana amendment of 2014 is supposed to protect states with medical marijuana regimes. However, the Obama Administration has chosen to repeatedly ignore the amendment and continues to raid and prosecute businesses and individuals who have been operating in strict compliance with their state laws. In addition, this creates yet another tool that the Trump Administration may use to prosecute patients and consumers who seek the relief that CBD extracts and other hemp- and marijuana-related products provide.

You can read the entire Federal Register notice here:

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