Congressional members sent DEA letter asking for clarity on hemp extraction rule

Nine members of Congress have asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for clarity on a rule the hemp industry says will wrongly criminalize production of extracts in some cases.

The letter asks DEA administrator Timothy Shea to protect hemp producers.

“Since the Farm Bill legalized hemp along with hemp derivatives, extracts and cannabinoids, it logically follows that the only viable methods for processing hemp into those derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids would also be legal,” reads the letter written by Ohio Republican U.S. Rep. David P. Joyce. It was signed by eight of his colleagues.

Opponents of the rule the DEA published in August argue it would make hemp extracts a Schedule 1 controlled substance during a period of the extraction process when the plant’s THC levels temporarily rise above what’s allowed.

The DEA published the rule to align its regulations with hemp legalization under the 2018 Farm Bill and accepted public comment until Tuesday. But the regulation is already in effect.

“The DEA must specify their requirements and streamline hemp directives by clarifying the legal means of processing hemp products,” said Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia, one of the House members who signed the letter, first reported by Marijuana Moment.