Dec 20, 2016 12:20 PM

DEA Says CBD Oil Is Schedule I Substance. What's Next?

Last week, DEA released a Federal Register that included, among other things, a new Administration Controlled Substances Code Number for what they call ‘‘marihuana extract.’’ According to DEA, the main reason for inventing the new code was to make it easier for the agency to track this type of substances, alongside with “marihuana” and “tetrahydrocannabinols.” The other reason was the need to bring the U.S. marijuana policy into compliance with international drug-control treaties. But most people in the cannabis industry took this as an act of war.

Technically, the DEA's statement does not change the legal status of cannabis. It only confirms once again that DEA considers all types of cannabis genus equally illegal.

But for those businessmen and medical cannabis patients who deal with hemp-derived CBD oil, this statement changes a lot.

Before this new code invention, hemp industry existed in the gray area. Although technically, hemp is not a separated genus, people who used it could stay out of the troubles with the law because the plant contains less than 0.3 percent THC. From now on, however, the exact content of THC does not matter.

What does it mean for those who deal with CBD oils on a daily basis?

First, it will make it a lot harder to transport CBD oils across the country. No more online orders and mail deliveries in the states without legal cannabis legislation in place. Therefore, we may see a lot of medical cannabis “refugees” that will be forced to move to the more marijuana-friendly states in order to get legal access to the medicine they need.

Secondly, all marijuana and hemp-related businesses will need to update their current registrations until January 13, 2017. If a business works with marijuana concentrates and does not add the new code 7350 to its registration before the designated date, January 13, 2017, it will be considered to be in violation of the federal cannabis law.

On the other side, the majority of the cannabis industry experts and professionals claim that it is not in the DEA's power to make CBD oils equal to LSD and heroin in the eye of the law.

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