Members of Congress Express Strong Objections to DEA Hemp Rule

Senators Wyden and Merkley (OR) expressed “strong objections” to the DEA’s rule on hemp in a letter to the Acting DEA Administrator. (Photo credit:

US Senators Wyden and Merkley of Oregon expressed their “strong objections” to the DEA’s interim final rule (IFR) in an October 22, 2020 letter to the DEA’s acting administrator. They state:

In effect, the IFR criminalizes the intermediate steps of hemp processing, which is wholly inconsistent with Congress’s clearly stated purpose and the text of the 2018 Farm Bill… In our view, the IFR rewrites the 2018 Farm Bill contrary to Congressional intent.” The senators also noted that the 2018 Farm Bill formally removed hemp, including its seeds and all “derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids,” whether growing or not, from the purview of the DEA. According to the Senators, this “place[s] the sole authority to promulgate federal regulations and guidelines that relate to the production of hemp, which includes its derivatives, extracts and cannabinoids, with the Secretary of Agriculture.

Their objections are well-founded and support recent legal actions taken against the DEA by the HIA and Re Botanicals, which you can read more about by clicking here and here. You can learn more and support this important legal action by clicking here and donating to the Hemp Legal Defense Fund

Additionally, nine members of the House wrote a letter to the DEA on October 20, 2020 expressing similar concerns and objections. These members, including David Joyce, Denver Riggleman, Rodney Davis, Morgan Griffith, Glenn Grothman, Don Young, Anthony Gonzalez, Earl Blumenauer, and Matt Gaetz, stated: 

Our offices have received countless calls from constituents involved in the hemp industry who are extremely fearful that simply following the provisions of the Farm Bill will result in criminal liability under the IFR. The IFR will likely have the effect of inhibiting these nascent state hemp programs thereby harming those American companies and workers who chose to pursue careers in the hemp industry and made significant investments to effectuate those aspirations.

Thanks to these lawmakers for their support of the hemp industry. 

Here are the letters:

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October 23, 2020


Rod Kight is an international hemp lawyer. He represents businesses throughout the hemp industry. Additionally, Rod speaks at cannabis conferences, drafts and presents cannabis legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and is the editor of the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, which discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. You can contact him by clicking here


1 comment on “Members of Congress Express Strong Objections to DEA Hemp RuleAdd yours →

  1. I hope that these senators can get some progress made on this issue. I don’t understand why the DEA keeps inserting itself in stuff that no longer concerns it.

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