DEA rule change sparks concern on marijuana extracts

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has introduced a new rule on how it tracks marijuana extracts that is causing concern in the marijuana industry. But should it?

The DEA announced in the Federal Register it is creating “a new Administration Controlled Substances Code Number for ‘Marihuana Extract’” so that it can track things like concentrates and oils separately from marijuana flower.

The DEA code for marijuana is 7360, while the new marijuana extract code is 7350.

Some observers believe the rule change could mean increased federal interference in the hemp industry.

But the executive director of the Hemp Industry Association, Eric Steenstra, said the rule doesn’t do anything new – since CBD products are already illegal – other than give CBD oils and other extracted products another federal government tracking code.

“These codes just help the DEA with record-keeping,” Steenstra said. “But that’s not going to result in any kind of enforcement action.”

The new DEA rule defines extract as substances “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.”

The rule also said that marijuana extracts will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances, even if they are CBD products derived from hemp, which by federal definition contains less than 0.3% THC.

The DEA said that even if THC and other federally prohibited cannabinoids could theoretically be removed from CBD products, it hasn’t been done, and therefore CBD products are federally illegal.