Washington D.C. — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) has filed a motion to hold the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in contempt of court for disregarding the February 6, 2004 ruling that hemp stalk, fiber, sterilized seed, and seed oil are not classified as Schedule I controlled substances.

Industrial hemp is a variety of the same species of plant as marijuana,Cannabis sativa L.However, industrial hemp is cultivated for industrial rather than drug purposes. It contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana, and its uses include paper, textiles, health food, and fuel. The recent motion follows a long history of regulatory rules and petitions pertaining to the classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance.

Recently, in December 2016, the DEA and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) prohibited Healthy Oilseeds LLC, North Dakota, from shipping its hemp protein powder and hempseed oil food “because industrial hemp is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.” DEA spokesperson Russ Baer further noted that the only hemp products that are exempted are those that “are not used, or intended for use, for human consumption.”

HIA states in the petition that the DEA has “violated the injunction and, through its spokesperson, indicated its intent to continue doing so.” HIA executive director, Colleen Keahey said, “We will not stand idly by while the DEA flouts the will of Congress, violates the Ninth Circuit order, and harasses honest hemp producers trying to make a living.” The petition has the support of numerous hemp brands and HIA member companies.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 2/15/2017