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How the Farm Bill Amendment and DEA Letter will Benefit Cannabis Growers

DEA reclassifies cannabis seeds as hemp

An exciting new amendment to the 2014 Farm Bill has seen cannabis seeds reclassified as hemp. This new development allows for the uninhibited sale of cannabis seeds throughout the USA – allowing them to be shipped across state lines.

Cannabis seeds have long been discounted from the conversation, with the feds generally regarding them the same way they do psychoactive cannabis and refusing to change their standings on seeds. But, this has all changed now and cannabis seeds are all but free from legal constraints.

But, how did we get here? Let’s look at a brief history of cannabis law.

The Story So Far

Cannabis is Federally classified as a Schedule 1 substance, this has been the case since 1970 when the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) was passed. While cannabis has remained a Schedule 1 substance ever since, the 2014 Farm Bill allowed for certain states to research and produce hemp – offering no guidance on the means of production nor how it should be used in manufacturing products.

In 2018, Senator Mitch McConnell pointed out the importance of cannabis as a whole and brought hemp and all its uses to the forefront of the conversation. From Senator McConnell’s arguments, the Senate amended the bill to see hemp and its seeds removed from the Schedule of Controlled Substances list. Hemp came to be removed from the definition of cannabis and was reclassified as a type of cannabis Sativa plant with equal to or less than 0.3% THC.

Hemp has become normalized as a crop among farmers. With hemp cultivators being seen in much the same way as any other mainstream crop; general agriculture we consider the norm has expanded to include hemp. When considering the historical use of hemp as a material for clothes, general fabrics, and such it seems obvious that hemp cultivation would be normalized alongside its usage in the textile industry.

The Current Classification of Cannabis Seeds

Up until late 2021, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) still considered cannabis seeds to be just as illegal as the substance they produce. However, a New York attorney challenged this classification of cannabis seeds which led to the counsel, Sean Pennington, clarifying that the seeds themselves contained less than 0.3% THC and it was only the plant they came from which contained higher psychoactive levels.

Pennington then went on to suggest the DEA’s classification of cannabis seeds was somewhat of an oversight that should be corrected by reclassifying cannabis seeds as hemp.

After reviewing the legal classification of cannabis seeds, the DEA backed up Pennington’s claim by making it law that cannabis seeds be classified as hemp. This ruling means that the sale and possession of cannabis seeds is permitted even if the plants grown from the seeds have a resulting THC level in excess of 0.3%. 

Cannabis seeds are now allowed to be sold and shipped across state lines throughout the whole of the USA without any of the previous constraints placed on them by the DEA.

Note – growing psychoactive, potent cannabis is still considered illegal on a federal level.

The reclassification of cannabis seeds as hemp sets cannabis in general on a path towards further scientific study through ease of access and may help to advance medical applications of the substance significantly.

Growing Forward

The reclassification of cannabis seeds and their newfound legality allows for the sale and acquisition of cannabis seeds to be easier than ever and more widespread. Considering this, we hope that our community of home growers expands considerably as those who once feared that buying or possessing cannabis seeds would risk getting them into trouble with the law can now rest assured that this is not the case.

We operate on the belief that cannabis should be available to anyone and everyone who wants it and this bill amendment is a great step towards making this dream a reality. Our ideals aside, there is no denying that growing cannabis from seed is the most cost-effective and fulfilling way of procuring cannabis. There is no better feeling that holding the end product when you know you grew it all yourself.

Whether you’re growing feminized seeds or autoflower seeds, the reclassification of cannabis seeds as hemp gives you one less stress and allows you to better focus on growing.

Picture of Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. About this Author

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