DEA’s Potency Rule Threatens Viability of CBD Industry

  • On August 20, the DEA released its interim final rules (IFR) for hemp production.
  • Rule changes include removing restrictions on importing and exporting hemp, and removing FDA-approved, CBD-based drugs from schedule 5 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
  • One key rule regarding CBD processing drew widespread criticism from industry stakeholders, who complain that it effectively criminalizes vital elements of the CBD production process.
  • Under the IFR, essentially all CBD manufacturers fall under control of large amounts of CSA schedule I controlled substances.
  • The DEA asserted that the policy stance has been in effect since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, though the agency is extending a public comment period through October 20.