Federal Appeals Court Hears Case Challenging the DEA's Classification of CBD

Most people can see that the government's classification of marijuana and products made from it as a Schedule I narcotic are ridiculous. But a new lawsuit may help change things. 

Yesterday arguments began in federal appeals court in a lawsuit where the hemp industry is challenging the DEA's classification of marijuana extracts as controlled substances. The DEA made this decision last January, and it led to series of seizures of products containing CBD extracts. The hemp industry lawyers say that the DEA overstepped its bounds in changing the classification for CBD, and that Congress didn't intend for those types of products to be labeled as controlled substances.

The Justice Department, in response, said that the DEA's guidelines didn't intend for those seizures to happen. They said the regulations only specify the controlled parts of the marijuana plant that part of the Controlled Substances Act passed by Congress. They said those seizures of CBD products were not part of their guidelines, and that the rightful response to those seizures is to challenge them independently in court.

In addition to the legal arguments made in court, the judge will consider a number of other briefs and arguments filed by outside parties, including a letter from 28 members of Congress arguing against the DEA's position.

(h/t The Cannabist)

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