Rod Quoted In Hemp Industry Daily

Hemp Industry Daily covers the global hemp industry.

I spoke with Hemp Industry Daily editor Kristen Nichols last week about a recent lawsuit filed by Innovative Nutraceuticals (Innovative) against the federal government. Kristen posted her article on the Innovative lawsuit yesterday and quoted from our conversation. You can read the article here.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Michael Chernis. I am not involved in the case. Innovative alleges in the lawsuit that US Customs unlawfully detained and destroyed its imported shipment of hemp. The case is timely, given the DEA’s Internal Directive, issued on May 22, 2018, that I discuss in detail here. The Internal Directive specifically states:

[A]ny product that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection determines to be made from the cannabis plant but which falls outside the CSA definition of marijuana may be imported into the United States without restriction under the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act.

Innovative contends that its seized hemp falls outside the CSA definition of marijuana because it consists entirely of “crushed seed and stalk material cultivated from industrial hemp lawfully grown in Spain.” The lawsuit goes on to assert: “Because this industrial hemp material constitutes and constituted exempt portions of the cannabis plant, it does not meet the definition of marijuana in 21 U.S.C. §802(16) and is legal to import.

I agree with Innovative’s position and am hopeful that this case will get some traction. The USA has not filed a response yet. Stay tuned.

Rod Kight is a lawyer based in Asheville, NC. He is licensed in North Carolina and Oregon and represents legal cannabis businesses. You can contact him by clicking here.

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