Regarding “The Ballad of Weedy: A Semi-Fictional Legal Tale”, Clarification of CBD’s legality

To correct a few errors:

Cannabis is the genus of the plant which is furthered divided in popular use into “Marijuana” and “Hemp.” Before the 20th Century, it was always called “Cannabis” if a medical use and “Hemp” if an ‘anything-else’ use of Cannabis. (I don’t talk about Sativa or Indica much, those are species/ssp of Cannabis, and not as useful today as Narrow Leaf Hemp, Broad Leaf Hemp, etc.) Yes, for most of North American Euro-settled history, the distinction made in Cannabis was by End Use: “are you gonna use the THC or are you gonna make rope? Dope or Rope?” End Use, the same thing we often talk about now.IMG_4942

Today, “Hemp” is is a man-made construct having nothing to do with anything, and just means it has to be less than 0.3% THC, the neutral, psychoactive Cannabinoid. “Hemp” is not a compound like you say, it is the legal definition given to Cannabis and an EXTREMELY restrictive standard. It has nothing to do with anything, decided in the ’60s by the French who had the most compliant strains, and made it so upon a UN body. Today it is 0.2% in EU, and 0.3% in Canada, who treats Hemp farmers like criminals to this day, and requires they plough-under 90% of their crop’s value (the CBD).

In any event, back home 0.3% is far too restrictive: it precludes use of most feral hemp cultivars (our 405-year American genetic heritage, or heirloom Hemp). The other reason it is such a restrictive standard is that it doesn’t take into account the CBD content, which if high enough renders the THC not a drug diversion source (people won’t use that Cannabis as pot). Even the notoriously-conservative French and UN have had for decades a definition of “Hemp” which included “CBD:THC ratio >1.” And that was the “United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime”!

Zero-point-three THC is so restrictive, some Colorado farmers have to destroy their crops. BTW, in those 4 pot-legal states you cite, pot is actually more legal than hemp, cuz state laws.

As for Trademarks, there are actually hundreds if not thousands of US Trademarks for “Cannabis:” Hemp-this™ and Hemp-that™.

While DEA’s position may be unclear (last year they called the legality “squishy”), CBD’s legality is not: CBD NUTRABIDIOL was a Trademark issued on July 28 of this year for “Dietary and nutritional supplements; Dietary food supplements; Food supplements; Herbal supplements; Mineral supplements; Nutraceuticals for use as a dietary supplement; Nutritional supplements; Protein dietary supplements; Protein supplements; Vitamin and mineral supplements; all of the foregoing containing CBD.”

So, it appears CBD is what the learned agree it is: not Schedule I. DEA does not have to agree, they are paid to lie, cheat and steal. This is no different, the death rattles of a de-moralized and antiquated agency born of Nixon’s hatred of hippies and blacks. That which is legal is not dependent on the consensus of its enemies. Cops are still seizing legal CBD in Utah, while CBD companies thrive elsewhere in the state on the front page of the biggest papers.

Treat CBD like the dietary supplement that it is. DEA does (never a raid, imports continue, “squishy”), as does FDA. They begrudgingly admit by omission that CBD is legal. FDA, in all their recent statements on CBD, never once said it was illegal (Schedule I), just not GRAS, or a NDI. Exactly like Hempseed and Hempseed oil, no different. But no one tries to stop those products, for some reason people (*coughActivistscough*) are pimping FDA’s line when it comes to CBD. FDA admits it doesn’t have perfect information, because in fact, stalk, flowers, and of course seed are Grandfathered, just no one needed to tell them yet.

Those letters FDA sent regarding health claims were due to rookie mistakes by those companies. Only nOObs don’t know health claims are out, we’ve been down that road many times in the ’80s and ’90s. Even Dr Bronner’s received one of those letters for making impermissible health claims for coconut oil last year. But notice that in not even one letter do they state CBD is illegal or Scheduled, just that making claims means it is a new drug. Or they can quit making claims, which is what happened.

As for certifying organic for a CBD Hemp crop, CBDRx of Colorado, a producer of CBD Hemp, in fact received organic certification from OneCert on September 29 of this year, for their Hemp crop. Thus, just as PTO can issue Trademarks for Cannabis (Hemp), USDA can certify Cannabis (Hemp) crops as organic.

I’ve been managing FDA matters for 35 years. Those of us dealing with these issues understand that the problem isn’t the absolute final legality, it’s doubt of the legality that stories like yours cast on this legal and important supplement. Mere doubt of the legality killed the infant legal hempseed foods market for 2½ years last decade, during its Golden Age. Please don’t do the government’s dirty work for them and cast aspersions on the legal CBD market. We need to unite, not divide. Lessons learned from last decade.

Richard Rose
Medicinal Hemp Association