The Bush administration will not appeal the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals February 6, 2004, decision in HIA v. DEA protecting sale and consumption of hemp food products in the U.S. The allotted time to appeal to the Supreme Court expired three years after the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a rule purporting to ban hemp food products. "The mandate of the Ninth Circuit is final, and their decision will now be the law of the land," said Joseph Sandler, lead attorney for the Hemp Industries Association (HIA).
"Removing the cloud the DEA put into the marketplace will spur a dramatic surge in the supply and consumption of healthy omega-3 rich hemp seed in America," says David Bronner, chair of the HIA's Food and Oil Committee and president of Alpsnack/Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "This is a huge victory for the hemp industry. The Bush administration decision not to appeal the Ninth Circuit's decision from earlier this year means the three-year-old legal battle over hemp seed products is finally over. The three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that the DEA ignored the specific congressional exemption in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that excludes hemp fiber, seed and oil from control along with poppy seeds. The court viewed as insignificant and irrelevant harmless trace amounts of THC in hemp seed, just like harmless trace amounts of opiates in poppy seeds."
"More and more health foods containing omega-3 rich hemp nut and oil will be appearing on store shelves since the legal status is no longer an issue," says Alexis Baden-Mayer, director of Government Affairs for Vote Hemp. "Americans are looking for healthy alternative sources of omega-3 to supplement their diets due to concerns regarding trace mercury in fish and fish oil supplements. Right now, the U.S. marketplace is supplied by hemp seed grown and processed in Canada and Europe. We will now work to convince congress it is time for the U.S. to again allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp and participate in this lucrative growth market."