Will You Support the Hemp Industry at this Crucial Moment?
This post is to request your support for a pair of legal actions filed by the hemp industry. These legal actions challenge DEA’s unlawful efforts to regulate key steps of the hemp production process—efforts that, as you are likely aware, threaten the hemp industry and possibly your business.
On Monday October 12, 2020, the hemp industry united and filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that DEA is unlawfully attempting to regulate certain products derived from lawful hemp by misinterpreting the 2018 Farm Bill. Specifically, DEA classifies intermediary hemp material (IHM) and waste hemp material (WHM), two necessary and inevitable byproducts of hemp processing, as Schedule I controlled substances. Veteran industry law firms Vicente Sederberg LLP, Kight Law Office, and Hoban Law Group (in coordination with nationally-recognized appellate firm Yetter Coleman LLP) are leading this effort on behalf of plaintiffs Hemp Industries Association and RE Botanicals (“Plainitffs”). Plaintiffs argue that Congress deliberately removed such commercial hemp activity from DEA’s jurisdiction when Congress legalized hemp production, including hemp processing, via the 2018 Farm Bill.
In September, Plaintiffs also filed a filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking the court to review and set aside the interim final rule (IFR) issued by DEA in August.
We need your support.
The attorneys have agreed to do this work at low bono rates and have a long battle ahead. Due to the scale of the litigation, we will be spending hundreds of hours of legal time, garnering support on Capitol Hill, among many other actions and processes inherent to legal actions of this magnitude. The actions will cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars to pursue, even with significant reductions in legal fees.
A legal defense fund (Fund) has been established, and we request that you commit to a contribution, which can be made in one payment (preferred) or in smaller periodic payments.
We do not ask for this lightly, especially given current circumstances, but it is crucial to pushback against DEA and to protect the hemp industry. The link to the Fund can be found here, and wire information is attached (please wire funds for larger donations to save fees).
We are happy to discuss this matter with you and to answer any questions you have about the fund or the lawsuit. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. To be clear, we are not asking you to participate in the lawsuit. We are simply requesting you that you support this effort financially, which directly affects your business and our promising hemp industry.
October 16, 2020 (revised 10-19-20)
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.