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CBD Beauty and Skincare Products in California’s Shifting Regulatory Landscape


marijuana CBD cannabis
CBD and skin care: it’s complicated.

As I read this week’s Forbes article titled, “Cannabis Could Be The Most Profitable Ingredient In Skincare, If The U.S. Government Allows It,” it felt like déjà vu. Legislators, law enforcement, lawyers, and cannabis business owners have been going in circles for years now trying to figure out how, exactly, CBD products fit within the current state and federal regulatory structure. But despite the potential legal ramifications of violating the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), CBD companies, particularly those manufacturing beauty and skincare products, are cropping up everywhere and expanding rapidly.

We wrote a few months ago about Target, which pulled a line of CBD products from its website after a BuzzFeed article calling out the sales. And even Forbes, which stated that “A Sephora executive who asked to remain anonymous confirmed the beauty giant has plans to launch at least one CBD-based skincare brand this year,” was unable to reach anyone at Sephora for comment. These large companies have legal counsel who are undoubtedly cautioning them against venturing into the realm of cannabis and CBD; such high-profile sales of CBD products would be an easy target for federal enforcement.

Because we’ve been getting so many inquiries on this topic in California and elsewhere from companies that are unsure whether or not they need a manufacturing license to make these products and a retail license to sell them, and because this is obviously still a hot topic in the media, we thought it would be a good time to revisit the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (“DEA”) stance on the subject, as well as the scenarios under which CBD products are arguably legal under federal law.

Currently, the DEA’s stance is that CBD as well as other cannabinoids derived from cannabis are Schedule I substances under the CSA, regardless of their source. In 2016, the DEA clarified that “marihuana extract,” which is an extract “containing one or more cannabinoids derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis,” is marijuana, and therefore a Schedule I controlled substance. The DEA’s use of the word “any” means that this interpretation applies to any derivative of the cannabis plant, including CBD and any of the other cannabinoids found in cannabis. This definition is extremely broad, and according to the DEA, makes derivatives of the cannabis plant that were formerly thought to be legal, illegal.

As we’ve discussed before, there are three scenarios in which cannabis extracts are arguably legal under federal law. The first scenario is when extracts are derived from the “mature stalk” of the cannabis plant, because the CSA’s definition of marijuana “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.” 21 USC §802(16). The DEA has clarified that the rule does not apply to portions of the plant specifically exempt from the CSA’s definition of marijuana, but there is debate as to whether products that contain any meaningful amount of CBD can be derived from the mature stalks.

Another scenario is when extracts are derived from an industrial hemp plant lawfully grown in compliance with Section 7606 of the 2014 US Farm Bill (“The Farm Bill”). The Farm Bill allows states to enact pilot programs for hemp research purposes. Hemp that is cultivated in compliance with a state’s pilot program is legal pursuant to the Farm Bill, although the sale of any products derived from this research is not explicitly allowed.

The third scenario is when products are derived from imported hemp. In the early 2000’s, two cases out of the Ninth Circuit, Hemp Indus. Ass’n v. DEA, 357 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. Cal. 2004) and Hemp Indus. Ass’n v. DEA, 333 F.3d 1082 (9th Cir. 2003) clarified that the DEA could not regulate hemp products merely because they contained trace amounts of THC. This was because some portions of the cannabis plant are explicitly outside the scope of the CSA, and the DEA was not permitted to expand the scope of the CSA to encompass all parts the cannabis plant. At the time of the ruling, it was illegal to grow hemp so it only applied to hemp imported from outside the USA. Some now argue that the holding could apply to hemp grown pursuant to the Farm Bill although, as stated above, commercial sales of these products is not explicitly allowed.

The Hemp Industries Association has sued the DEA over the “marijuana extract” rule, and that case is still pending. Until it’s decided, we’re left with a legal quagmire of rules interpretations that leave businesses selling CBD products in a precarious legal position. And of course, if you’re hoping to sell to cannabis dispensaries in any regulated state, including California, you’ll have to be licensed by that state, and you’ll only be able to sell to other licensees. Given the recent shift in federal enforcement priorities, we wouldn’t be surprised to see an uptick in enforcement action against companies selling CBD skincare and beauty products, particularly in interstate commerce and outside the ambit of state regulatory systems. But that’s a legal and business risk that many are clearly still willing to take.

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While Washington Questions Cannabis, Industrial Hemp Industry Has Major Support


Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent attempt to slow legal progress in the cannabis industry will have no effect on industrial hemp, which has support in Washington, according to industrial hemp industry leaders.

Legislators moved to support industrial hemp as recently as December, when the Industrial Hemp Banking Act (H.R. 4711), was introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky and co-sponsored by Rep. James Himes of Connecticut and Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado. The bill seeks to ease strict requirements for banks serving the industrial hemp industry, and bar action by federal regulators.

“I’m co-sponsoring the bill because hemp’s potential is boundless, and I want to ensure companies can reap the benefits it has to offer and access customer and financial services like loans, credit card processors and banks,” Rep. Polis told HEMP.

In August, Rep. James Comer of Kentucky introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, which would declassify hemp as a Schedule I narcotic under U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency policy.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Comer said in a release. “It reclassifies hemp to an agricultural crop like corn or soybeans where it belongs.”

Comer is planning to seek support for his bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the House Judiciary Committee, but he said it is possible the bill might be included in the upcoming farm bill, according to DTN/The Progressive Farmer. While he supports hemp, Comer has said he does not support legalization of cannabis and is looking to “differentiate between marijuana and hemp.”

Hemp, Inc. CEO Bruce Perlowin said the ‘Session obsession’ with cannabis really has nothing to do with hemp at all. “The first two days of January, everyone went crazy. Sessions talks about his marijuana obsession, and all the pot stocks drop.

We put out a press release saying – We’re industrial hemp. No matter what the federal government does, it won’t affect us,” Perlowin said.


North Carolina-based Hemp, Inc. (OTC PINK: HEMP) is a global leader in the industrial hemp industry, with the largest multi-purpose industrial hemp processing facility in the western hemisphere.

Bruce Perlowin of Hemp Inc.. – CMW Media/Christian Rodas

Perlowin said Washington’s recent support comes from years of educating politicians on hemp, especially emphasizing that hemp is not psychoactive, with a legal limit of under 0.3 percent THC. “For a long time, everyone thought hemp was marijuana. The politicians have been educated,” Perolwin said. “It’s much more accountable when you can’t get high – from hemp we can make rope, clothes, circulation material. Hearst paper mills and DuPont plastic aren’t around – there’s no real pushback to hemp anymore. The public-at-large doesn’t know as much about hemp as the politicians do. We have massive bipartisan support.”

Industrial hemp has state-side support as well. Washington removed hemp plants from the state’s controlled substance list in 2017 and launched an industrial hemp research pilot in 2014, but the program has been inactive due to lack of funding.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Hawaii launched state-wide industrial hemp pilot programs. Wisconsin passed a law allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp. In New York, universities such as Ithaca and Cornell are running hemp research programs.

Perlowin said Sessions’ move to let the Cole memo expire this month – which removed the cannabis industry’s protections from federal prosecution – has only made political supporters more vocal about cannabis legalization.

“Why did the whole sector [stocks] go up after Session’s obsession came out? The pushback. The governor of Colorado called him a liar. He got pushback from California, and more governors, senators, congressmen. It united everyone in the industry. It has united the movement,” he said.

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New Oregon Cannabis Rules: Part One – Marijuana Promotional Events


Change is the only constant in cannabis regulation.

On December 22, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)  adopted a large packet of rules amendments that incorporate the many cannabis bills signed by Oregon Governor Kate Brown this year, as well as “technical amendments [made] in response to market realities.” These changes, effective December 28, 2017, include:

  • implementation of mandatory seed-to-sale tracking for medical cannabis;
  • a new regulatory regime for hemp and hemp products that allows hemp products into Oregon’s recreational cannabis supply chain;
  • new rules governing Marijuana Promotional Events;
  • new canopy limits for growing immature plants outside of the standard canopy areas;
  • an exception to the retailers-must-be-1,000-ft-from-a-school rule if there is a physical or geographical barrier between the retail site and the school that prevents children from traveling to the retailer, such as a river;
  • new certifications for recreational wholesalers that can now trim cannabis, and can offer mobile for-hire trimming services;
  • some minor changes to transportation rules;
  • a small change to the definition of “financial interest” that will have a big impact on what investors must be pre-approved by the OLCC;
  • a new prohibition on sales through walk-up windows to complement the existing prohibition on drive-thru sales (Makes you wonder who came up with the work-around that led to this rule change); and
  • micro-tier producers can now do some processing of cannabis concentrates.

Because the changes cover quite a bit of ground, we’ll dig into several of these in more detail in future installments in this series. For now, we will focus on the new Marijuana Promotional Events, governed by OAR 845-025-1335. This new administrative rule allows recreational licensees to display their products at trade shows, which is something many of our clients have been eager to do for a while.

Under the new rules, trade shows or similar events will be organized by a single licensee or “Event Organizer”, that will be the primary contact with the OLCC. The Event Organizer must submit an application to the OLCC at least 28 days before the event that will include the names and signatures of any participating licensees, the amount and type of cannabis items that will be on display, and a control plan that explains how the participating licensees will prevent violations.

Assuming the OLCC approves an application, the participating licensees may bring and display marijuana and marijuana products from their inventory (sorry, no hemp). All of the marijuana must be returned to the licensee’s premises at the end of the event. Thus, these trade shows are not an opportunity to sell or otherwise distribute any cannabis products. Even samples are prohibited.

The ban on samples will probably dissuade some members of the public from attending, but that rule is no different than the ban on samples from licensed dispensaries generally. On the licensee side, trade shows may prove invaluable for smaller industry players hoping to distinguish themselves in a very competitive market. The other possibility, of course, is that licensees may find the regulations too strict, and decline to participate.

Check back soon for another dive into the new rules governing Oregon’s cannabis market. And Happy New Year!

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Oregon Cannabis: State of the State (Part Two)


Interesting times for Beaver State cannabis.

A little over a year ago, I put together a State of the State blog post on Oregon cannabis. At that time, the rules were rolling out in a business-friendly manner, many of our clients were proceeding toward licensure, and the market did not feel saturated. Today, the first two items remain true, but the Oregon market has become fuller and more competitive. Part of this has to do with the state’s lack of residency requirements, part has to do with how easy it is to acquire an Oregon marijuana license, and part is just standard free market dynamics. All of this has been a long time coming.

As of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (OLCC) December 19 report, there were 877 licensed marijuana producers in Oregon, with nearly another 1,000 applications pending. Much of the massive Croptober harvest is drying out and finding its way to the market, and prices for outdoor cannabis seem to be falling fast: in some cases, flower is dropping below $400 per pound. It’s hard to know where bottom is. Program architects may not put the brakes on this anytime soon: the legislature won’t meet again until February (and may not take up the issue at all); and, in the interim, OLCC has no authority to cap the number of licenses awarded. Instead, the agency can only reduce canopy sizes (which it has no plans to do, according to our recent conversations).

Today’s market dynamics were somewhat predictable: given the state of the rules and Oregon’s unique accessibility, we predicted a lot of “triage, consolidation, litigation, guesswork, and general ups and downs” as far back as early 2016. Some of this was almost certainly by design: in the Cannabis Law & Policy class I teach we do a deep dive on markets, and we talk about the general desire for states to allow the price of state-sanctioned pot to stay low, so as to undercut the black market. The countervailing consideration, of course, is the state’s desire to create tax revenues. In an excise tax program like Oregon’s, those revenues are higher when prices hold up at retail.

All of this said, we still think Oregon is a great state for marijuana entrepreneurs, even as the market settles out. Here are three interesting trends we are seeing today:

Consolidation. The Oregon merger and acquisition market is in full swing for cannabis, and our well positioned clients are expanding by acquiring competitive and complementary businesses, up and down the supply chain. Other clients are selling, with the belief that prices are still reasonable, but may crater down the line. In the past week alone, we commenced five different purchase and sale transactions, and we don’t expect a lull in this type of activity any time soon. Interestingly, prices and valuation of these businesses are all over the board. For some basics on buying and selling Oregon pot businesses, see our series here:

Litigation. Unfortunately, when pot businesses fail, litigation sometimes follows. We have seen an uptick in Oregon pot litigation as of late, particularly partnership beefs and creditor actions. We do not expect the dispute dynamic to change anytime soon. For this reason, we have been staffing up with litigators in the Portland office, we and are even putting on a free litigation webinar next month to more fully discuss this topic. (Join us!)

Hemp?  Lately, more and more of our clients have shown an interest in growing hemp under licensure by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Some of these clients are pursuing hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) sales in interstate commerce, which the ODA program does not prohibit. Others are preparing to sell CBD into the OLCC stream of commerce, which is finally allowed under Senate Bill 1015 (new rules take effect next week). As to interstate CBD sales, federal law is a cluster, but that hasn’t stopped many big box retailers from trading in this area. Right now, a wave of Oregon cannabis growers are going there, too.

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Target Sold CBD Online: Was it Legal?


BuzzFeed recently reported on Target’s short-lived effort at selling cannabis-based products online. By the end of the day on which the story ran, the major retailer had already removed the product from its website. The Phoenix New Times quoted Target spokesperson Kate Decker as saying, “We started carrying Charlotte’s Web hemp extract items last week on After further review, we have decided to remove it from our assortment.” However, the Phoenix New Times reported earlier in September that Target was selling CBD products online. Decker could not confirm exactly when Target started selling CBD. The only certainty is that it ended the same day as BuzzFeed’s article.

The thing is that many online retailers (WalMart, Groupon, and Amazon) sell or have sold CBD online. This is in part likely because of the complex legal status of CBD. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s (“DEA”) stance is that CBD, and other cannabinoids derived from cannabis, are Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), regardless of their source. Last year the DEA created a rule defining “marihuana extract” as an extract “containing one or more cannabinoids derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis,” as marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance. Use of “any” means it applies to any derivative of the cannabis plant including, CBD and other cannabinoids found in cannabis. This far-reaching definition, on its face, purports to make parts of the cannabis plant that were seemingly legal illegal.

Setting aside the Rule, there are three scenarios in which cannabis extracts are arguably legal under federal law. The first being when extracts are derived from the “mature stalk” of the cannabis plant because the CSA’s definition of marijuana “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.” 21 USC § 802(16). The DEA has clarified that the Rule does not include portions of the plant specifically exempt from the CSA’s definition of marijuana but also maintains that products that contain any meaningful amount of CBD can be derived from the mature stalks.

The second scenario is when extracts are derived from an industrial hemp plant lawfully grown in compliance with section 7606 of the 2014 US Farm Bill (“the Farm Bill”). The Farm Bill allows states to enact pilot programs for hemp research making hemp legal in the state’s borders. Hemp cultivated in compliance with a State’s program is expressly legal under the Farm Bill. Extracts from compliant hemp are legal in the State in which they were derived though the sale of these products in other states is not explicitly allowed.

The final scenario is when products are derived from imported hemp. In the early 2000s, two cases out of the Ninth Circuit, Hemp Indus. Ass’n v. DEA, 357 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. Cal. 2004) and Hemp Indus. Ass’n v. DEA, 333 F.3d 1082 (9th Cir. 2003) determined that the DEA cannot regulate hemp products simply because they contain trace amounts of THC. This is because some portions of the cannabis plant are explicitly outside the scope of the CSA and the DEA was not permitted to expand its scope to encompass all parts the plant. At the time of the ruling, it was illegal to grow hemp so it only applied to hemp imported from outside the USA. However, its holding could also apply to hemp grown pursuant to the Farm Bill. In other words, marijuana extracts from non-psychoactive (industrial) hemp with only trace amounts (or less) of naturally occurring THC are permitted under the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

The Hemp Industries Association has sued the DEA over the “marijuana extract” rule and that case is still pending and until it is decided, uncertainty remains as to the legality of CBD products. The DEA may very well lose because the Rule appears to conflict with the Farm Bill and the Hemp Industry cases from the early 2000s.  Nonetheless, despite potential legal flaws, the Rule is currently in place and anyone who distributes “marijuana extracts” is a potential target of the DEA. This is likely why online retailers like Target have flirted with selling CBD products online but often end up pulling products.


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Oregon Hashish Legislative Replace: One Month to Go


Oregon cannabis lawIn January, we put collectively a abstract of 30 or so draft payments up for consideration within the 2017 Oregon legislative session. As predicted, many of those payments have fallen by the wayside; others have been revised or consolidated. As of immediately, Oregon has enacted 4 new legal guidelines associated to marijuana, with three extra payments pending. As well as, three draft payments wait within the wings, relating to industrial hemp.

At this time, we’re one month away from the state’s constitutional deadline for adjournment sine die, which is Monday, July 10. Everybody goes house on the finish of that day, and if a invoice hasn’t been authorised by each chambers, we are saying “so lengthy” till 2018.

Under is a abstract of Oregon’s 4 new marijuana legal guidelines, its three proposed marijuana legal guidelines, and its three proposed hemp legal guidelines.

Oregon’s New Marijuana Legal guidelines

Senate Invoice 1057

A couple of weeks again, we gave a complete overview of Senate Invoice 1057, probably the most impactful invoice so far, and one other giant step in combining Oregon’s medical and leisure marijuana packages. The invoice has since been signed into regulation by Governor Brown and since it was an “emergency” invoice, it took impact on Might 30.

Senate Invoice 302

This invoice quietly turned regulation again on April 21. It removes provisions associated to marijuana offenses from the state Uniform Managed Substances Act. It additionally removes and/or reduces numerous felony penalties associated to marijuana crimes by unlicensed operators. The thrust of this invoice was to deal with marijuana crimes extra like alcohol crimes, and it achieves that function. As a result of penalties for marijuana offenses have been scattered all through the Oregon statutes, this one has an unlimited quantity of tedious, conforming amendments, to one thing like 125 statutes.

Senate Invoice 303

This regulation is analogous in nature to SB 302, albeit a lot shorter, and it additionally took impact again on April 21. The takeaway right here is the modification, clarification, and reconciliation of statues associated to minors possessing and buying each marijuana and alcohol. Fairly primary stuff.

Senate Invoice 863

This one considerations shopper privateness, and it serves as an extra try by Oregon to defend its residents’ info from the federal authorities. The brand new regulation prohibits marijuana retailers from recording, retaining and transferring “info that could be used to determine a shopper.” This invoice was brief, candy and non-controversial: it was signed into regulation by Governor Brown on April 17.

Oregon’s Proposed Marijuana Legal guidelines

Home Invoice 2197

This can be a basic “intestine and stuff” invoice, which began out as a measure to advertise hashish analysis, however now, in its fourth proposed modification (“Sprint four”), offers with intergovernmental taxation as to the state and Indian tribes. Particularly, it will permit the Oregon Division of Income to enter into agreements with the governing physique of federally acknowledged Indian tribes (learn: The Confederated Tribes of Heat Springs). Beneath these agreements, the state would make rebate funds to the tribes for the estimated tax on marijuana gadgets bought by tribes. This one left the Joint Committee on June 5, and was referred to Methods and Means, which is what occurs every time a invoice has a fiscal influence. It’s exhausting to say proper now whether or not a model of this invoice will develop into regulation, however it appears possible.

Home Invoice 2198

This invoice would set up an Oregon Hashish Fee, to report again to the legislature on the standing and situation of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (which the legislature retains curbing). The thought right here is to discover a approach to assist medical marijuana sufferers who may in any other case be left behind. Amongst different issues, this invoice accommodates the controversial “20 pound modification” which might permit designated medical growers to promote as much as 20 kilos of extra flower yearly into the OLCC market. Like HB 2198, this one additionally lately made it out of the Joint Committee, and was referred to Methods and Means.

Senate Invoice 56

That is the 2017 Oregon hashish “Christmas tree invoice” and it was given a “do move” suggestion on June 6 by the Joint Committee, following its 39th proposed modification (“Sprint 40”). It’s now within the Senate Committee. The myriad of modifications are too prolonged to summarize right here, however a couple of notable planks embrace: (1) a requirement for the speedy suspension of any marijuana licensee for diversion of product to the black market; and (2) an allowance for restricted processing by small, licensed OLCC producers (<5,000 sq. ft of cover; water or mechanical extraction solely).

Oregon’s Proposed Industrial Hemp Legal guidelines

Senate Invoice 1015

This invoice would permit hemp licensees to ship hemp to OLCC processors, for non-THC based mostly processing (which shall be welcome information to each hemp and marijuana licensees). This invoice was handed by the Senate on June 7, and doesn’t create a fiscal impression. This implies it can keep away from the quagmire of Methods and Means, and will turn into regulation.

Home Invoice 2371

This invoice would tidy up the economic hemp regulatory scheme usually, which is a slender program with many gaps. Amongst different issues, it will create a pilot analysis program, create a seed certification program, and supply for accreditation of testing laboratories for industrial hemp commodities, in addition to merchandise which are ingested, inhaled or topically utilized. This invoice was referred to Methods and Means on April 26, however appears more likely to move.

Home Invoice 2372

This invoice would create on Oregon Industrial Hemp Fee, and nothing extra. Like HB 2371, it was referred to Methods and Means on April 26, however is non-controversial and in addition more likely to cross.

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Oregon Strikes to Overhaul its Industrial Hemp Laws



We beforehand mentioned the two-tier industrial hemp registration system Oregon adopted final yr. In short, the Oregon Division of Agriculture permits registration as both a grower (producer of commercial hemp), or a handler (processor of commercial hemp into commodities, merchandise or agricultural hemp seed). At present, solely registered hemp handlers can course of industrial hemp or promote industrial hemp merchandise. Nevertheless, a invoice winding its approach via the Oregon legislature might considerably upend the established order for CBD concentrates and extracts.

Oregon’s hemp advocates ought to hold an in depth eye on Senate Invoice 1015. In relation to CBD concentrates and extracts, the invoice would open up industrial hemp processing to Oregon Liquor Management Fee (OLCC) licensed leisure marijuana processors. The processed CBD concentrates and extracts might then be delivered to leisure marijuana retailers on the market in OLCC licensed dispensaries.

In fact, the invoice locations some restrictions on OLCC processors:

  • The leisure processor have to be registered with OLCC for the categorical objective of processing industrial hemp into CBD concentrates and extracts. Presumably, the OLCC would create a brand new registration course of for this function;
  • The grower should present the leisure processor with all check outcomes on the hemp and the leisure processor should retain the check leads to its data; and
  • The economic hemp should nonetheless be tracked as outlined in ORS 475B.150.

The invoice would additionally permit the processed CBD merchandise to be delivered to an industrial hemp handler for resale offered that:

  • The CBD merchandise have been produced “independently” of any marijuana merchandise. This may require separate processing amenities to stop cross-contamination;
  • The merchandise have been correctly examined;
  • The merchandise are tracked as required by ORS 475B.150; and
  • The THC focus within the merchandise are under a threshold to be set by the OLCC (in all probability .three % if the OLCC follows the Division of Agriculture’s lead).

The invoice is now earlier than the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation, which can maintain a public assembly on Senate Invoice 1015 at present (Might 9), on the Oregon Capitol Constructing. If you wish to become involved in the way forward for Oregon’s hemp business, arrive at Room HR B earlier than 5:00pm. Additionally, take observe that the Committee might be contemplating this basic “gut-and-stuff” modification, so you possibly can safely ignore the textual content of the invoice as initially launched.

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Hashish Business Group Challenges DEA Rule on Hemp and CBD Companies


Is CBD legalThe DEA introduced a brand new Last Rule late final yr relating to “marihuana extracts” that left many within the industrial hemp and CBD industries involved. The brand new rule created a separate classification for “marihuana extracts,” which it broadly outlined as “any extract containing a number of cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Hashish.” This definition facially consists of hemp-based items operating the gamut from hemp rope sandals to hemp lotion to therapeutic CBD oils, however critics have countered that such a definition exceeds the prohibition of “marihuana” created by the Managed Substances Act. Some worry the DEA’s broadening of what constitutes marijuana extracts foreshadows a extra aggressive federal enforcement posture that would devastate hemp-related corporations the DEA now (and all the time) regards as felony enterprises.

The DEA’s rule will quickly be put to a courtroom check as The Hemp Industries Affiliation, Centuria Pure Meals, Inc. and RMH Holdings, Inc. final week filed a problem to the DEA rule within the federal Ninth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals. Regardless of the outcome, this courtroom’s ruling will possible considerably influence the way forward for the hemp-related business and implicate key elements of the burgeoning hashish reform motion as nicely.

The core of the plaintiffs’ argument is that the DEA rule conflates “marihuana”—the substance prohibited by the Managed Substances Act—with all cannabinoids and all elements of the hashish plant, which it lumps into “marihuana extracts.” Plaintiffs level to legislative historical past that in 1937 Congress selected to make use of the time period “marihuana” as a result of on the time there was no significant and scientifically legitimate approach to distinguish between the plant itself and the constituent elements Congress sought to outlaw. Plaintiffs additionally level to the 2014 Farm Invoice, which permitted industrial hemp manufacturing as long as the crops stay under a threshold THC degree, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which prohibited utilizing federal funds to implement the Managed Substances Act towards sure hashish enterprise. Plaintiffs contend that these legislative strikes, together with larger scientific understanding of the hashish plant and the capability to isolate particular elements of the hashish plant, all point out Congress’s intent to carve out area for these companies to function legally. Plaintiffs additionally contend that the Ninth Circuit itself, in a 2004 case, acknowledged that not all naturally-occurring cannabinoids are per se prohibited by the Managed Substances Act.

Plaintiffs contend the DEA exceeded its scheduling and enforcement authority underneath the Managed Substances Act by enterprise a “de facto scheduling” of drugs not contemplated by the Managed Substances Act and that Congress views as distinct from marijuana as a “drug.” Plaintiffs primarily allege that with this rule the DEA is trying to implement a regulation Congress by no means enacted. This can be a widespread problem to expansive administrative rulemakings, however its software to any specific state of affairs could be arduous to foretell and it often hinges on the courtroom’s studying of the underlying statute and the extent of deference the company’s motion deserves.

We’ll maintain an eye fixed out as this case progresses and cross alongside any necessary updates as they arrive in.

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DEA Clarification on CBD Extracts: Hemp-Derived CBD Might Be within the Clear


Keep in mind when the DEA adopted a “Ultimate Rule” criminalizing “marihuana extract,” presumably together with hemp extracts? Properly, the DEA lately clarified that Ultimate Rule, and based mostly on the DEA’s personal rationalization and interpretation, marijuana extracts derived from hemp that include no THC aren’t unlawful underneath the federal Managed Substances Act (CSA).

The DEA’s highlights of its clarification are that:

  • The “marihuana extract” definition doesn’t embrace supplies or merchandise excluded from the definition of marijuana set forth within the CSA.
  • The rule consists of solely these extracts that fall inside the CSA definition of marijuana.
  • If a product consists solely of elements of the hashish plant excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such product is just not thought-about “marihuana” or a “marihuana extract.”

This can be a vital departure from a plain studying of the Remaining Rule, which creates a brand new “Managed Substances Code Quantity” for marijuana extracts “containing a number of cannabinoids from any plant of the genus Hashish.” When the DEA adopted this Last Rule in December of final yr, our opinion was that it formally outlawed all CBD merchandise, together with these derived from hemp, as a result of CBD is a cannabinoid and hemp is a plant of the genus Hashish.

Marijuana is prohibited by the CSA and any CBD product derived from marijuana is subsequently prohibited. Nevertheless, the CSA exempts from the definition of “marijuana” the plant’s “mature stalks” that are also called hemp. The logical conclusion is that CBD merchandise derived from hemp containing no THC weren’t unlawful (although the FDA would disagree). Previous to adoption of the Ultimate Rule, CBD merchandise derived from hemp that didn’t include THC existed in a authorized “grey” space; not particularly exempted by the CSA however the DEA stored stating it thought-about CBD of all types to be unlawful.

Underneath the DEA’s Ultimate Rule clarification, CBD merchandise derived solely from hemp containing no THC usually are not prohibited underneath the “marihuana extract” rule. Nevertheless, this clarification shouldn’t be an official ruling by the DEA because it doesn’t have the identical authority as a proper rule. As an alternative, this clarification offers steerage as to how the DEA will implement the “marihuana extract” Last Rule. As well as, the marihuana extract Ultimate Rule is at present topic to a lawsuit filed within the Ninth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals by members of the hemp business, and this clarification might trigger that courtroom to rule that the clarification limits the Remaining Rule.

The underside line is that this clarification ought to be taken with a grain of salt because the Last Rule itself carries extra authorized authority and this clarification just isn’t an official ruling by the DEA — it’s simply the company’s interpretation of its personal rule, which may change because the DEA so wishes. So, when you’re promoting hemp-based CBD merchandise with little to no THC, maintain your head on a swivel because the DEA develops and implements this Ultimate Rule.

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Is CBD Authorized?


Cannabis regulatory lawyersIn December 2016, the DEA issued a rule defining “Marihuana Extracts” to incorporate extracts “containing a number of cannabinoids from any plant of the genus Hashish.” This rule went into impact on January 13, 2017. That very same day, The Hemp Business Affiliation, Centuria Pure Meals Inc., and RMH Holdings LLC filed a petition with the US Courtroom of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit difficult that DEA rule.

The Managed Substances Act is a federal regulation that determines what substances are unlawful medicine. Congress approved the Division of Justice so as to add and take away substances to the Managed Substances Act (CSA), and the DOJ has delegated that authority to the DEA. The DEA promulgated the “Marihuana Extract” rule pursuant to that grant of authority, which means that merchandise the DEA defines as becoming the “Marihuana Extract” definition are unlawful substances.

Guidelines can have an analogous impact as legal guidelines but when a rule conflicts with a regulation, the regulation will prevail. In different phrases, Congressional legal guidelines that battle with a DEA rule ought to outweigh the DEA guidelines. The Petitioners who’re interesting the DEA rule are arguing that the “Marihuana Extract” rule outlaws elements of the hashish plant that Congress particularly made authorized within the CSA and within the 2014 Farm Invoice.

Congress positioned marijuana on Schedule I of the CSA and outlined it to incorporate all elements of the plant Hashish sativa L., besides the mature stalks of the plant and seeds incapable of germination. Stalks and merchandise derived from these stalks will not be unlawful as a result of they don’t seem to be marijuana. This distinction allowed for authorized manufacturing of hemp merchandise despite the fact that marijuana stays federally unlawful. The 2014 Farm Invoice additionally permits states to implement packages to legally develop industrial hemp. “Industrial hemp” is outlined to imply “the plant Hashish sativa L. and any a part of such plant, whether or not rising or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol focus of no more than zero.three % on a dry weight foundation.”

Previous to the “Marihuana Extract” rule, just one cannabinoid was explicitly named in Schedule I of the CSA: THC which is understood for inflicting marijuana’s euphoric “excessive.” Different cannabinoids, like CBD, weren’t particularly prohibited. This meant merchandise not derived from mature stalks of hashish that didn’t include THC have been arguably authorized as no a part of that product was prohibited by the CSA. Now those self same merchandise are unlawful as a result of they include different cannabinoids that at the moment are outlined as managed substances based on the “Marihuana Extract” definition. The definition additionally applies to industrial hemp grown pursuant to the Farm Invoice. The Petitioners who’re interesting to the Ninth Circuit argue that the DEA’s rule is inconsistent with the CSA and the Farm Invoice and that the courtroom ought to subsequently discover the rule invalid.

Petitioners additionally argue that the DEA did not adjust to the Administrative Process Act in creating this rule. Along with complying with the CSA, the DEA should additionally comply with the Administrative Process Act, which primarily units forth the procedures governmental our bodies should comply with in enacting new guidelines. The Petitioners argue that underneath the APA the “Marihuana Extract” rule invalid because it:

  • Is bigoted, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or in any other case not in accordance with different regulation (reminiscent of the Farm Invoice and the CSA);
  • Is unconstitutional;
  • Exceeds the DEA’s statutory authority; and
  • Was created with out following crucial procedures.

This isn’t the primary time the DEA has confronted authorized challenges for interfering with authorized hemp. In 2001-2003 the DEA tried to deal with hemp meals merchandise as Schedule I substances as a result of they contained hint quantities of THC. The Ninth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals dominated that the presence of THC doesn’t alone make a product a managed substance. Petitioners plan to make use of this ruling to say that cannabinoids that happen in authorized parts of the hashish plant will not be managed by the CSA and will not be regulated as marijuana by the DEA.

Because the DEA issued this rule my agency’s hashish regulatory legal professionals have acquired a day by day stream of calls from companies eager to know whether or not the CBD merchandise they’re producing, promoting or shopping for at the moment are unlawful. Particularly, most of those callers need to know whether or not merchandise containing CBD that are derived from hemp and don’t include THC are nonetheless authorized. At this level, the jury (or actually the decide) continues to be out and we — like everybody else — shall be ready to see how the courts rule.