Save Hemp

Coalition to Save Hemp

Hemp victory over DEA!

February 4, 2004: Court invalidates DEA final rule banning hemp foods! (You can download the opinion, Hemp Industries v. DEA, here from You must have Adobe Acrobat to view the document.)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that hemp foods — such as waffles, bread, cereal, veggie burgers, protein powder, salad dressing, and nutrition bars — are outside the control of the Drug Enforcement Administration. This decision, which is a major victory against DEA overreach, confirms that nutritious foods made from low-THC hemp seed aren’t illegal drugs and can’t be regulated by the DEA. The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) can take credit for mounting the first successful challenge to a DEA final rule purporting to regulate a Schedule I controlled substance. It is uncertain whether the DEA will appeal the decision.

In the February 7 edition of the Daily Record (Boulder, CO), DEA spokesman Richard Meyer questioned the ruling. “If the product contains THC, and is to be consumed by humans, Congress has made it illegal,” he said. This statement ignores the court’s ruling, which states, “The DEA’s definition of ‘THC’ contravenes the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress in the Controlled Substances Act and cannot be upheld.” The court refused to allow the DEA to “place non-psychoactive hemp in Schedule I for the first time” without making a finding that hemp foods have “a high potential for abuse,” a defining characteristic of a Schedule I drug.

June 30, 2003: Court invalidates DEA interpretive rule banning hemp foods! (You can see the opinion here from

Undecided is the legitimacy of a similar DEA “final” rule also banning hemp foods. Unlike the interpretive rule, the final rule was enacted only after the public was notified and given an opportunity to comment.

April 16, 2003: Court grants hemp industry’s Motion to Stay “final” rule!

The stay, brought jointly by the HIA and several major hemp food companies in the U.S. and Canada, prevents the DEA from prosecuting hemp food manufacturers, merchants, and consumers while the court determines whether the “final” rule banning hemp foods is valid. In light of the April 16 ruling, the hemp industry is optimistic that the court will ultimately lift the ban. One of the prime criteria in granting the stay was whether the hemp industry is likely to prevail on the merits of the case.

Comments are closed.