On this year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Hemp Industries Association in their bid to overturn the Drug Enforcement Agency’s classification of cannabidiol (CBD, or CBD oil) as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The case, Hemp Industries Association, et al. vs. Drug Enforcement Agency, et al. (“HIA v. DEA III”) brought together the Hemp Industries Association, along with Centuria Natural Foods and other hemp business a little over a year ago to have the court either strike down or clarify the DEA’s Marihuana Extract Rule, neither of which happened this week.
As the court noted in their decision, the petitioners “did not participate in notice and comment, but insist that a comment submitted by a private citizen adequately raised the concerns that now comprise their petition.” In other words, the petition was struck down on procedural grounds.
Contrary to most reports, however, CBD products, such as the favorite CBD oil, have not been ruled entirely illegal.
Cannabis activist and attorney Rod Kight, whose blog Kight On Cannabis has become the definitive source for wading through the judicial waters of the fight for legalization noted that courts commonly base their decisions on procedural, rather than substantive grounds. However, in the case of the Hemp Industries Association versus the DEA, he qualified that statement by writing that in this case, the ruling seemed particularly unfair.