CBD’s legal status remains a conundrum – even for the DEA

Less than a month after a court decision upheld the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency stance that CBD is an illegal drug made from marijuana, the agency released a statement clarifying its position and separating hemp-derived cannabidiol from its enforcement.

The DEA’s Diversion Control Division explained to law enforcement agencies that CBD from hemp grown in compliance with federal law falls outside the purview of the Controlled Substances Act.

“Such products may accordingly be sold and otherwise distributed throughout the United States without restriction,” the agency wrote in a bulletin posted last week.

The agency further clarified that hemp products such as CBD are legal to import and export, so long as the product is legal in the country of destination.

The clarification comes in the wake of a federal court decision upholding the DEA’s position that cannabis extracts, including CBD, are illegal drugs that should be treated the same as marijuana.

But the judges pointed out that the Controlled Substances Act does not limit hemp grown in compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill, which allows states to experiment with the crop.

The fact it isn’t possible to tell whether CBD molecules were extracted from hemp or marijuana has led to persistent confusion about the product’s legality.

Earlier this month, Michigan regulators announced CBD will be regulated like medical marijuana. And in Texas, health authorities are mulling a statewide ban on CBD in food products.