Harsher Drug Codes on Marijuana Extracts: An Unwanted Christmas from the DEA

Just in time for the holidays, the DEA has decided to shorten the leash on “marihuana”, as they spelled it, extracts. In a plight to “allow for more appropriate accounting of such materials”, the DEA has instituted codes 7350 affecting “non-resinous” marijuana extracts (meaning, basically, anything aside from hash), allowing DEA and their registered entities to track the quantity of extract separately from normal marijuana, and moving CBD extracts (a type of cannabinoid that contains no psychoactive properties) into schedule one drug status, in order to aid in “complying with relevant treaty provisions”.

 

Currently standing entities licensed and registered to handle marijuana and its extracts, now have until Friday, January 13th, 2017 to APPLY for a modification of their current registrations, instituting quotas, and in order to add the new code 7350 (which was written as follows: “Meaning an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.”).  Businesses that can not or do not update their registrations within the 30-day time limit will then be considered to be in violation of federal marijuana laws. The new classification affecting CBD extracts, which are widely used in the treatment of cancer, will make it impossible (if not, extremely difficult) for patients to access CBD oil in states without legal marijuana legislation in place, something that is currently easily obtainable via websites and/or mail order. Chuck Rosenberg of the DEA cited that this classification is being done out of “practicality”, stating that even what are claimed to be solely CBD extracts, may contain trace amounts of other, schedule one, cannabinoids. Despite the fact that many cannabidiol (CBD) extracts contain the legal percentage of THC (under 0.3%), the DEA stands firmly with its schedule one classification of these substances.

If it wasn’t bad enough that this news comes right before the holidays, information on this subject from the DEA themselves, as well as, the documents and information needed to update current retailer registrations are strangely difficult to find. The spelling of marijuana they use (with an “H” instead of a “J”), will keep their news about the subject out of marijuana or hemp related search results, making it easier to find by using the keyword “cannabis”, a term many do not use in reference to the plant. This bureaucratic maneuver, whether intentionally or not, services on to hinder the marijuana extract industry as a whole. Companies that once shipped CBD oils nationwide, will lose the ability to export it to states without medical or recreational cannabis legislation in place. The purpose of this legislation, if anything else, is simply to reinforce the fact that the DEA’s perspective on all extracts of cannabis, that being that they are ALL considered schedule one drugs, and consequently, federally illegal. Those wanting to find out more information on the matter, or who now know that they need to quickly apply for an update in retailer registration, can find out more, here, at the Federal Register’s article on the matter.

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