WASHINGTON, DC — The Bush Administration will not appeal the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals February 6, 2004 decision in HIA v. DEA protecting sale and consumption of hemp food products in the U.S. The allotted time to appeal to the Supreme Court expired today three years after the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a rule purporting to ban hemp food products. “The mandate of the Ninth Circuit is final and their decision will now be the law of the land,” said Joseph Sandler, lead attorney for the Hemp Industries Association (HIA).
“Removing the cloud the DEA put into the marketplace will spur a dramatic surge in the supply and consumption of healthy omega-3 rich hemp seed in America,” says David Bronner, Chair of the HIA’s Food and Oil Committee and President of Alpsnack/Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. “This is a huge victory for the hemp industry. The Bush Administration decision not to appeal the Ninth Circuit’s decision from earlier this year means the three-year-old legal battle over hemp seed products is finally over. The three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that the DEA ignored the specific Congressional exemption in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that excludes hemp fiber, seed and oil from control along with poppy seeds. The Court viewed as insignificant and irrelevant harmless trace amounts of THC in hemp seed, just like harmless trace amounts of opiates in poppy seeds.”
“More and more health foods containing omega-3 rich hemp nut and oil will be appearing on store shelves since the legal status is no longer an issue,” says Alexis Baden-Mayer, Director of Government Affairs for Vote Hemp. “Americans are looking for healthy alternative sources of omega-3 to supplement their diets due to concerns regarding trace mercury in fish and fish oil supplements. Right now the U.S. marketplace is supplied by hemp seed grown and processed in Canada and Europe. We will now work to convince Congress it is time for the U.S. to again allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp and participate in this lucrative growth market.”
Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of Vote Hemp, along with Patrick Goggin, local counsel for the HIA, expressed anger at the colossal waste of industry and taxpayer resources consumed in the three-year legal battle over hemp waffles and other healthy hemp foods. “The industry should have been focused on marketplace promotion and consumer education rather than flushing over $200,000 down the drain battling pointless DEA hysteria,” says Steenstra.
Hemp Foods are Safe and Nutritious — DEA Rules Were Ridiculous!
Hemp seed is one of the most perfect nutritional resources in all of nature. In addition to its excellent flavor profile, the seed meat protein supplies all essential amino acids in an easily digestible form and with a high protein efficiency ratio. But most importantly, hemp seed and oil offer high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in a perfect ratio of the omega-3/omega-6 acids. EFA’s are the “good fats” that doctors recommend as part of a healthy, balanced diet. This superior nutritional profile makes hemp nut (shelled seed) and oil ideal for a wide range of functional food applications and as an effective fatty acid supplement. Not surprisingly, hemp nut and oil are increasingly used in natural food products, such as breads, frozen waffles, cereals, nutrition bars, meatless burgers and salad dressings.
Eating Hemp Food Does Not Interfere with Workplace Drug-Tests
U.S. hemp food companies voluntarily observe reasonable THC limits similar to those adopted by European nations and Canada. These limits protect consumers with a wide margin of safety from workplace drug-testing interference (see hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at http://www.testpledge.com). The DEA has hypocritically not targeted food manufacturers for using poppy seeds (in bagels and muffins, for example) even though they contain far higher levels of trace opiates. The recently revived global hemp market is a thriving commercial success. Unfortunately, because of their paranoia DEA has confused non-psychoactive industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive varieties, and thus the U.S. is the only major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing of industrial hemp.
Vote Hemp is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow hemp commercially.