AUGUST 25, 2020 By: Andrea Steel and Lisa Pittman
Last Friday, the Drug Enforcement Administration (the “DEA”) published a rule regarding the scheduling of hemp and marijuana, effective immediately (the “Rule”). The cannabis community swiftly reacted with an interpretation that this Rule outlawed Delta-8 THC, the hemp industry’s new favorite cannabinoid. The impact is that if Delta-8 THC is, in fact, a Schedule I controlled substance, the threat of felonious criminal prosecution would thwart the commercial viability of this cannabinoid. We dug into the Rule and other materials, and we disagree with the “now illegal” conclusion. Instead, we theorize that so long as the Delta-8 is derived from cannabis that meets the definition of hemp, it does not appear to be illegal under the federal CSA and we don’t believe the DEA Rule alters this.
What Does the DEA Rule Say?