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Legal or Illegal? The Current State of CBD & Hemp

For the uninitiated, CBD is the shortened form of cannabidiol, which is the non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis or hemp plants. There are some people who are concerned that hemp also contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive component of cannabis. The amount of THC is negligible and hemp is currently exploding in popularity as an alternative to traditional methods for mood enhancement and anti-inflammation.

Many years after its debut on the market, CBD unofficially counted as a Dietary Supplement until the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) declared that it wasn’t. In December 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) updated its drug codes to list CBD as a marijuana extract officially and cemented its status as a Schedule I drug. This move required businesses in states with legal CBD to update and file new documentation to comply with the updated drug code.

Schedule I drugs are substances that are banned at the federal level, but more importantly, are recognized as having no accepted medical use. This ruling added an additional roadblock to researchers looking to conduct clinical trials for CBD-based drugs.

Following the update, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) filed a lawsuit against the DEA to petition a change in the drug code. On May 1st, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld CBD’s status as a Schedule I controlled substance. The HIA can appeal the decision.

While the court’s ruling was a blow to the CBD and hemp industry, there is still hope, and its name is the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. In Subtitle G Section 297A, the bill defines hemp as the Cannabis Sativa L plant with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3%. This legislation would remove hemp from Schedule I and allow for both research of hemp and hemp product production. Additionally, Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) created an amendment to the Hemp Farming Act that would allow hemp businesses and researchers access to traditional financial services, such as banking and other protections.

While not perfect, these proposed measures would continue to help the CBD & hemp industry to expand and to promote research on CBD-based pharmaceuticals.

CBD & hemp companies can further their favorable reputation by adopting quality and batch management systems to ensure the safety and consistency of their products. Read more about how InstantGMP™ MES can benefit your business and sign up for a live demonstration to see this ground-breaking software in action.

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