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USDA’s Office of General Counsel issued a formal legal opinion wrt HEMP

As described here, The USDA’s Office of General Counsel issued a formal legal opinion (full PDF here).  Among its key conclusions:

  • As of December 20, 2018, hemp is no longer a controlled substance. Period. Full stop.
  • While states have the right to prohibit the cultivation of hemp within their borders, state and local law enforcement officials MAY NOT interfere with the interstate transportation of hemp – whether that hemp was grown in a 2014 Farm Bill-authorized pilot program, or in a future 2018 Farm Bill-authorized state hemp program.
  • The Roundtable’s arguments in the Idaho and West Virginia federal courts were valid as a matter of law.

In a separate opinion, the USDA confirmed the rights of Indian tribes to grow hemp during the 2019 planting season.
Combined with the news earlier from the TSA – confirming that hemp-derived CBD could be transported on airplanes – this has been an historic week for hemp, a week that will conclude on Friday when the Roundtable’s General Counsel Jonathan Miller will testify before the FDA’s first public hearing on CBD.  Stay tuned for more developments.

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