CBD Will Continue To Be Illegal Even When Derived From Legal Hemp, Federal Judges State, But There's a Silver Lining

A group of hemp industry leaders attempted to fight the DEA drug code for cannabis extracts, but a federal appeals court has ruled against them, reports The Denver Post.

Denver-based cannabis law firm Hoban Law Group represented the claimants and argued that since CBD is not listed as an illicit substance in the Controlled Substance Act that it's scheduling is unjust. Further, since hemp production is protected by the Agricultural Act of 2014, substances derived from hemp—namely CBD—should be too.

While the judges ruled that the DEA's code does not violate the Agricultural Act of 2014 they did not that there is some discrepancies between the two.

“The Agricultural Act contemplates potential conflict between the Controlled Substances Act and pre-empts it,” the judges wrote.

The court's view of the Agricultural Act when coupled with the DEA's former statement that they did not intend to regulate cannabinoids could offer future leverage in changing the current laws, says Hoban attorney Garrett Graff.

“The sky is not falling, based upon this decision,” he said. “These are all positives that the industry can take as yet another arrow in the quiver of legitimacy.”

But, Bob Hoban, the law firm's namesake, says his clients continue to be concerned for the safety of their business and may seek a rehearing.

“Given the pervasive confusion and irreconcilable conflicts of the law that have led to product seizures, arrests and criminal charges against those involved in the lawful hemp industry, the petitioners believe that the final rule must be invalidated, absent the court clarifying and further resolving these conflicts and their severe consequences.”


Cannabis legalization does not lead to increased use by young people, according to a federally funded study. In fact, legal states have seen underage consumption decrease since repealing prohibition. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has released the latest iteration of the regular Monitoring the Future survey, evaluating the drug habits of American eighth, tenth and twelfth graders.