Article by Rob Hotakainen, McClatchy DC
When Colorado began selling legal marijuana in 2014, hundreds of families from around the nation saw new hope for their children who suffered from seizures.
They flocked to the state in search of a cure: a liquid form of marijuana known as CBD oil. That’s short for cannabidiol, an extract that many parents say has helped their children, even though the drug has never been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Now a new fight is brewing after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said last week that CBD oil and other “marijuana extracts” would be included in the government’s list of Schedule 1 drugs, which includes heroin and LSD, drugs considered to have no medical value.
On Monday, the Hemp Industries Association said the DEA had misused its authority and that only Congress or the U.S. attorney general could add CBD oil to the list of banned substances. And the trade association said it was “strongly considering legal action” to block the DEA’s move.
The hemp association said that CBD products should be defined as “supplements,” not drugs or pharmaceuticals subject to control by the DEA. And the group said it was wrong to classify all CBD products as “marijuana extracts” because the oil could be produced from both marijuana and hemp plants.
Eric Steenstra, the group’s executive director, said Congress had already ruled on the subject by allowing hemp growers to produce CBD oil in a growing number of states under its last major farm bill in 2014. Kentucky is among the leaders in the industry.