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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
March 12, 1998

Statement from the Drug Enforcement Administration On the Industrial Use of Hemp

Hemp, Indian Hemp, marijuana, and cannabis are other names for the Schedule I substance marijuana. In accordance with Title 21, U.S.C. Section 802(16), the term "marijuana" means "all parts of the plane Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination."

Since marijuana is in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and in Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, its cultivation, importation, exportation, and distribution are strictly regulated in the United States and throughout the world. The Single Convention Treaty requires that countries adopt necessary controls to prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in, the leaves of the cannabis plant.

DEA has not in the past granted any registrations for the cultivation of marijuana for industrial purposes. The Controlled Substances Act requires that a determination be made that any such production would be in the public interest. A prime consideration of the public interest rests with the threat of diversion associated with cultivation. The cultivation of the marijuana plant exclusively for commercial/industrial purposes has many associated risks relating to diversion into the illicit drug traffic.

Anyone seeking to grow marijuana must apply for registration as a manufacturer pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 823(a). DEA must consider the following criteria in consideration of an application of this type:

1. Maintenance of effective controls against diversion, and limitation of the bulk manufacture (propagation is considered manufacture) to a number of establishments which can produce an adequate and uninterrupted supply of these substances under adequately competitive conditions for legitimate industrial purposes.

2. Compliance with applicants, state and local laws;

3. Promotion of technical advances in the art of manufacturing these substances;

4. Prior conviction record of the applicant under federal and state laws relating to the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of such substances;

5. Past experiences in the manufacture of controlled substances and the existence in the establishment of effective control against diversion; and

6. Such other factors as may be relevant to and consistent with the public health and safety.

Any application to grow marijuana must include detailed documentation regarding these requirements. For more information please contact James J. McGivney, Chief, DEA Public Affairs, at (202) 307-7977.

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