DEA Acknowledged Cannabis Seeds, Tissue Cultures, and Genetic Material Do Not Fall Under the Controlled Substances Act

1.3 min readPublished On: April 11th, 2022By

LOS ANGLES–The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has agreed that cannabis seeds are considered hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill if they don’t exceed the 0.3 percent THC standard. This came from a response to a question from attorney Shane Pennington, the DEA recently conducted a study of federal law and regulations, which he released on his “On Drugs” newsletter which you can find here by clicking this link.

Pennington told the publication Marijuana Moment that he believes “the letter is significant” because of the source rule, which determines whether a cannabis product is a controlled substance based on the sample’s source, or, as Pennington explains, “the argument that the legal status of a cannabis product hinges on whether it is ‘sourced’ from marijuana or hemp.”

“What is the lesson here?” When it comes to assessing whether a cannabis-related substance is federally authorized ‘hemp’ or schedule I ‘marihuana,’ the substance itself — not its source – is what matters.

Schedule I marijuana is defined as any substance that surpasses the.3% level (and isn’t a mature stalk, fiber, or other similar substance).

Aside from that, it’s hemp, not a controlled substance.” — Mr. Pennington wrote in “The Source Rule is Dead.”

The letter, according to Pennington, makes the DEA’s reliance on the source rule “more tougher to defend.”

Because both hemp and THC-rich cannabis seeds contain small amounts of THC, the letter effectively grants individuals the right to possess seeds that would produce THC-rich plants as long as the seeds contain less than 0.3 percent THC; however, growing any cannabis plant that exceeds federal THC limits remains illegal.

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