Another U.S. hemp ban? After U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno declared that it wasn’t hemp products, but rather previous U.S. bans on hemp products which were illegal, the Canadian hemp industry thought it could finally put its efforts into building this new and promising industry, rather than wasting time and resources fighting misguided U.S. governmental policies.
Not so, it seems. This time, the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has decided to play even dirtier. Instead of recognizing hemp as separate and distinct from its illicit cousin marijuana, the DEA has introduced new legislation which would effectively ban all hemp seed products. Worse, they are trying to sneak in these unprecedented regulations over the holiday season, and before the new U.S. administration takes its place. According to Cynthia Thielen, Assistant Republican Floor Leader, Hawaii House of Representatives “the DEA chose the time when people are celebrating the holidays and when Congress will be in recess to do this.”
Thielen contends that the regulations will seriously impact or actually kill products made with industrial hemp which are intended for human consumption. This will include hemp lip balm, any hemp products that could be used to soothe nose/sinus, or anything that DEA claims could be “ingested.” The regulations will put a cloud over hemp body care products, saying if the shampoo or lotion user tests positive for THC, and then the products will be outlawed.
“IF the DEA proceeds with this action it will of course be a blow to the farmers that have been hoping would make hemp a go in Ontario” says Claude Pinsonneault a Principal with Kenex Ltd. and Vice President of the Ontario Hemp Alliance (OHA).
“The DEA is taking the position that the ingestion of products made with hemp seed or hemp seed oil can lead to positive drug tests, and so should be banned. This is simply not so.” Says David Marcus, President of the OHA. “Canada is the principal exporter of hemp seed products to the United States, and all Canadian hemp seed or derivative products must test at less than 10 parts per million THC [the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana] before they can be approved for export. At these infinitesimal levels it has been repeated shown that the ingestion or topical use of hemp seed products does not result in positive testing for THC.”
One of hemp’s principal uses is as a highly nutritious seed that can be pressed for oil. Health Canada’s Industrial Hemp Office requires testing and analysis to certify that all hemp oil and seed sold in Canada or exported to America tests below 10 parts per million (PPM) of THC. The Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has put its full support behind the Canadian hemp industry in the face of past U.S. embargoes and has advised Canadian exporters to claim that their legal hemp oil contains 0% THC in their shipping documents.
Canada’s hemp industry is developing the highest value added quality hemp products in the world. It is recognized that our tough regulatory standards contribute to these high standards. Yet, the United States, our principal market, continues to demonize hemp products and is the only major industrialized country in the world which hasn’t re-legalized hemp cultivation over the past decade.
“One begins to really loose their temper with the puerile way the US is dealing with a commodity ” fumes Louise Hollingsworth, Executive Director of the OHA “hemp has proven economic, nutritional and environmental benefits. Many OHA members depend on the US market and if this happens you can be sure to see the acreage drop.”
David Marcus, President of the Ontario Hemp Alliance
Claude Pinsonneault, Vice President of the Ontario Hemp Alliance
Pain Court Ontario
Louise Hollingsworth, Executive Director
Ontario Hemp Alliance
Rep. Cynthia Thielen
Assistant Republican Floor Leader
Hawaii House of Representatives
Copyright © 2000, Ontario Hemp Alliance. All rights reserved.