Attorneys for a hemp industry trade association and hemp businesses argue that the DEA conflated the terms “marijuana” and “cannabis,” ultimately creating a rule that can be interpreted as scheduling cannabis and cannabinoids as illegal substances.

The fate of a federal rule viewed by hemp advocates as an existential threat to their emerging industry is now in the hands of a three-judge panel.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard oral arguments Thursday in the Hemp Industries Association’s petition challenging the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s January 2017 rule creating a Controlled Substances Code Number for “marihuana extracts.”

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Alicia Wallace ~