DEA Confirms Cannabis Seeds Containing Less Than 0.3% THC Are Considered Legal Hemp
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Marijuana, on the other hand, remains federally prohibited, which can't be said for the plant's seed, regardless of how much THC might end up being produced in buds when the seeds were cultivated.
In response to an inquiry from attorney Shane Pennington regarding the legality of cannabis seeds, tissue culture, and "other genetic material" containing no more than 0.3 percent THC, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently reviewed the federal statute and implementing regulations.
"Marihuana seed that has a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis meets the definition of 'hemp' and thus is not controlled under the CSA," Terrence L. Boos, chief of DEA' s Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section wrote in the letter, dated January 6. "Conversely, marihuana seed having a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis is controlled in schedule I under the CSA as marihuana."
What the DEA agrees upon is that people can possess cannabis seeds no matter how much THC the resulting plant might produce, as long as the seeds themselves have less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC.
"In my view, the letter is significant because we continue to see confusion over the source rule—the argument that the legal status of a cannabis product hinges on whether it is 'sourced' from marijuana or hemp—influencing legislative proposals even at the federal level," Pennington told Marijuana Moment.