Gordon believes the rule by the DEA will be overturned in court since the Farm Bill legalized all parts of the hemp plant.
“Hence some of those crazy reactions we have read about in regards to using spice and those kinds of things,” Gordons said. “I would highly recommend everybody not to touch that stuff.”
He says there’s nothing natural about synthetic drugs:
“The definition of marijuana is cannabis that is above .3 Delta-9-THC plus THCA times .877,” said Alex Petrick, a hemp distributor.”Delta-8 on the other hand is not mentioned anywhere regarding marijuana in any situation or context.”
When Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill it cleared the way for hemp to be grown across the United States. Hemp comes from the cannabis plant which is mostly known for its ability to produce marijuana which remains illegal. The difference between the two is simple: one gets you high, the other doesn’t. However, some store owners have recently started selling a version of hemp that produces a similar effect as marijuana, effectively blurring the lines. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has attempted to ban the new product, but that’s not deterred business owners who are now exploiting a legal loophole.
“If I use a Delta-9-THC product from a medical marijuana treatment center it creates a euphoric high that can last anywhere from two to four hours,” said Petrick. “Delta-8 on the other hand is very quick in and quick out, it’s an effect that lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.”
Petrick has come up with what he sees as a unique marketing opportunity. He is out with a new product: Delta-8-THC. All those letters he just mentioned: It’s how the federal government defines what constitutes marijuana. Federal law, says marijuana is anything above .3 Delta-9 and therefore illegal. Petrick’s new product is Delta-8. And he says the two Delta’s are not the same.
The simple form lists five different broad criteria for registering how the IFR has affected business practices:
That, however, is not good enough for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The nonpareil drug warrior agency issued an interim final rule (IFR) last August that takes the position that transiently hot hemp during the extraction process qualifies as “marihuana,” and thus, extractors are in possession of a Schedule I controlled substance.
But drug warriors do not go quietly into that good night, and DEA remains in the picture. It issued an interim rule seeking to regulate the industry—in particular, against extractors. When processing hemp from the hempy biomass to oil, the intermediary hemp material (IHM) transiently contains THC levels above the legal limit of 0.3%. DEA has taken that scenario, as well as waste hemp material (HWM) as another inevitable byproduct of hemp processing, as a reason to crack down on extractors.
DEA’s interpretation of the farm bill has “serious, immediate, and irreparable consequences,” according to HIA’s complaint. “All hemp processors and manufacturers who work with and/or store IHM and/or WHM must now choose between ceasing to process, manufacture and/or store hemp; obtaining a Schedule I license from DEA; or risk criminal prosecution under the [Controlled Substances Act]. Given the centrality of hemp processing to the hemp industry’s supply chain, forcing processors to choose between the foregoing options would effectively destroy the entire hemp industry.”
The lawsuit also makes note of DEA’s continuous attempts to regulate the hemp industry as a means of informing the court of continuous and historic overreach.
Extractors are freaked out that they could now become felons just for doing their job.
It’s anybody’s guess which way the court will decide. On the one hand, the 2018 Farm Bill is rather explicit about writing DEA out of the regulation of hemp. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture wrote a rule re-inserting DEA. And the recent hubbub over buzzy delta-8 THC has raised eyebrows that this kissing cousin to get-high delta-9 THC—while technically legal per the farm bill—nevertheless is reason enough to get DEA back in hemp’s business.
As explained in the Final Rule, the creation of this new drug code was primarily intended to give DEA more precise accounting to assist the agency in carrying out its obligations to provide certain reports required by U.S. treaty obligations. Because the Final Rule did not add any substance to the schedules that was not already controlled, and did not change the schedule of any substance, it was not a scheduling action under 21 U.S.C. §§ 811 and 812.
Note regarding this rule – In light of questions that the Drug Enforcement Administration has received from members of the public following the publication of the Final Rule establishing a new Controlled Substance Code Number (drug code) for marijuana extract, DEA makes the following clarification:
Clarification of the New Drug Code (7350) for Marijuana Extract
The new drug code is a subset of what has always been included in the CSA definition of marijuana. By creating a new drug code for marijuana extract, the Final Rule divides into more descriptive pieces the materials, compounds, mixtures, and preparations that fall within the CSA definition of marijuana. Both drug code 7360 (marijuana) and new drug code 7350 (marijuana extract) are limited to that which falls within the CSA definition of marijuana.
Because recent public inquiries that DEA has received following the publication of the Final Rule suggest there may be some misunderstanding about the source of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, we also note the following botanical considerations. As the scientific literature indicates, cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), cannabinols (CBN) and cannabidiols (CBD), are found in the parts of the cannabis plant that fall within the CSA definition of marijuana, such as the flowering tops, resin, and leaves. 2 According to the scientific literature, cannabinoids are not found in the parts of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, except for trace amounts (typically, only parts per million) 3 that may be found where small quantities of resin adhere to the surface of seeds and mature stalk. 4 Thus, based on the scientific literature, it is not practical to produce extracts that contain more than trace amounts of cannabinoids using only the parts of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such as oil from the seeds. The industrial processes used to clean cannabis seeds and produce seed oil would likely further diminish any trace amounts of cannabinoids that end up in the finished product. However, as indicated above, if a product, such as oil from cannabis seeds, consisted solely of parts of the cannabis plant excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such product would not be included in the new drug code (7350) or in the drug code for marijuana (7360), even if it contained trace amounts of cannabinoids. 5