By Derrick Stanley
The N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission is considering joining a lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Association.
The commission announced its support of the lawsuit verbally last week and plans to announce Thursday whether it will become a party to it.
The lawsuit would be filed by Founder’s Hemp of Asheboro – the first company to register in North Carolina as an industrial hemp producer. Founder's Hemp said that it intends to sue the DEA over its ruling that products made with CBD or cannabidiol hemp, which are in the same cannabis family as marijuana, are illegal and cannot be transported across state lines.
“We cannot let this stand as an industry,” Bob Crumley, president of Founder’s Hemp, said during a meeting of the Industrial Hemp Commission last week. “If we let what the DEA is currently doing stand, we need to fold our tents and give everybody their money back.”
Through the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress allowed universities and state departments of agriculture to grow industrial hemp for research, and more than 30 states, including North Carolina, have passed laws allowing hemp research and pilot programs.
However, the DEA has maintained that the transportation of hemp seeds across state lines is illegal, and that it is illegal for farmers to sell their finished hemp products in other states within the U.S.