Hemp Litigation: D.C. Trial Court Dismisses Hemp Industry Challenge to DEA Interim Final Rule
On May 3, the District Court for the District of Columbia ( “trial court”) dismissed a petition filed by the Hemp Industries Association and others (“Petitioners”) challenging a DEA interim final rule (the “Rule”) that amended its regulations following the enactment of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”). Although not a good result for the hemp industry, all hope of challenging the rule is not lost because of a similar proceeding filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the “D.C. Circuit”).
Here, the trial court dismissed the challenged to the Rule for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, essentially telling Petitioners that the D.C. Circuit is the only court that may grant the relief they seek.
Nathalie Bougenies and other hemp lawyers at Harris Bricken have tracked the rule since its adoption, and the ensuing litigation since its inception:
By way of summary, the Rule has significant negative consequences for hemp extractors/processors. That is because the Rule “suggests that in-process hemp extract is a Schedule I controlled substance during any point at which its THC concentration exceeds .3 percent on a dry weight basis.” In other words, hemp processors may find themselves subject to