Todd Harrison was quoted in Natural Products INSIDER on May 2, 2018, in an article about a setback for the hemp industry after a federal appeals court denied a petition to review a marijuana extract ruled adopted by DEA. The petition was largely denied for procedural reasons based on principles of administrative law, and the April 30 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit carries no precedent except for limited circumstances under the court’s rules.
Mr. Harrison said that at first glance, the Ninth Circuit's decision "may appear to be good news that would allow CBD and hemp supplements to be marketed lawfully. Unfortunately, the [Ninth] Circuit narrowly construed in a cursory manner that a limited pre-emption exists for the cultivation of hemp under a state agricultural department or a university for research purposes only. There is no reference to further commercialization."
Even if the Ninth Circuit "were to find commercialization could be considered research (doubtful but possible), all activity would have to occur within that state," Harrison said. "In other words, the hemp and/or hemp product could not cross state lines. Thus, while the language is very awkward, we believe the only way to read this case is that the only activity authorized under the [Agricultural Act of 2014] is for research purposes only."