DHL Will Not Ship Lawful Hemp or CBD Products
DHL informed a client of mine that it has a policy not to ship hemp or CBD. My client’s interaction with DHL reiterates my view that it is usually best to ship hemp and hemp products through the US Postal Service. For more information on shipping via USPS you can click here and here.
Below is the email my client received from DHL after a number of communications about a hemp/CBD shipment. (Note- identifying information has been redacted.)
- Cannabis/Marijuana and other related products will be denied approval for movement at this time.
- CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)
- Medicinal Marijuana
- Hemp products
- Due to growing concerns with the possibility of such products to contain THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive constituent in cannabis, other countries are also banning this type of business for import/export.
- US and foreign regulatory compliance issues, along with potential criminal business prevent us from approving cases of this nature at this time.
It’s no surprise that DHL’s policy is not to ship marijuana since it is a controlled substance under federal law and the laws of many states. This is imminently reasonable.
However, with respect to lawful hemp and CBD this policy does not make much sense. Pursuant to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill), hemp is not a controlled substance. The Farm Bill’s definition of hemp includes “extracts, derivatives, and cannabinoids”. In fact, the Farm Bill removed hemp-derived THC from the federal Controlled Substances Act. And, the DEA has acknowledged that it is lawful to export cannabis products that do not meet the legal definition of “marijuana” (ie, hemp and hemp extracts, derivatives, and cannabinoids) provided that they are lawful in the destination country.
This policy underscores the fact that the hemp industry has a long way to go for mainstream industries, such as logistics and banking, to accept and service it.
June 19, 2019
Rod Kight is an attorney who represents lawful cannabis businesses. He speaks at cannabis conferences across the country, drafts and presents cannabis legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and maintains the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, where he discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. You can contact him here.