US drug czar General Barry McCaffrey’s desperate efforts to keep Canadian hemp seed out of the US have been temporarily foiled.
Last August, US customs seized 50 tons of Canadian hemp seed and held them for five months. In January, McCaffrey ordered a complete embargo on importation of Canadian hemp seed products, claiming that any detectable levels of THC made them a “controlled substance.”
In May, US Attorney General Janet Reno lifted the embargo in a letter which stated that the feds “lack legal authority to prohibit importation of hemp products,” unless the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) were to be changed.
McCaffrey has since been pushing for changes to the CDSA which would officially ban hemp products from the US. His proposed amendments include banning all hemp products except for cloth, paper, and items not for human consumption.
McCaffrey is motivated by a number of court cases last year, in which it was found that consumption of hemp seed products can produce a false positive on urine tests. This means that widespread consumption of hemp seed foods could invalidate the pot pee-test industry.
The hemp seed seizure and subsequent uncertainty has been a serious setback for Canada’s nascent hemp seed industry. The largest contractor of Canadian farmers for hemp seed production, Consolidated Growers and Processors, is near bankruptcy, and others are struggling.