Department of Agriculture Office of the Secretary Washington, D.C., 20250
June 19, 1995
Ms. Debby Moore President, Kansas environmentalists for Commerce in Hemp 2742 E. 2nd Wichita, Kansas, 67214
Dear Ms. Moore:
Thank you for your letter of April 10, 1995, regarding hemp Cannabis Sativa L.) and your publication Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp. As you well know, however, Cannabis Sativa L. is a Schedule I controlled substance (21 U.S.C. 812 (c) (10); 21 CFR 1308.11 (d) (17) and Federal law requires persons who manufacture it must obtain an annual registration from the Attorney General (12 U.S.C. 822). This registration is issued in accordance with Federal regulations found in 21 CFR Part 1301. For additional information, you should contact the Registration Unit, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice, P. O. Box 28083. Central Station, Washington, D.C., 20005. For information about the legal aspects of hemp production, we suggest you contact the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C., 20500. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has no jurisdiction over these statutes and regulations.
We acknowledge receipt of you business plan written in regard to Executive Order No., 12919, National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness. Executive Order No. 12919, dated June 3, 1994, addresses national defense industrial resource policies and delegates to certain Cabinet members authorities conferred upon the President by the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, 50 U.S.C. App. 2061-2170 (the Act). Chief among these authorities is the Presidents power to require that capable contractors accept and give preference in the performance of those contracts which the President deems necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense. As you are aware, Section 201 (a) (1) of the Executive Order delegates to the Secretary of Agriculture (the Secretary) this authority of the President with respect to contracts for food resources, food resource facilities, and domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer. At Section 901 (e), the Executive Order defines food resources as commodities or products that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals and includes hemp, among other crops.
The Executive Order, however, does not require the Secretary to enter into contracts for the production of food resources. As shown above, the President enjoys discretion under the Act to determine which contracts are necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense. The Executive Order delegates this discretion to the Secretary with respect to food resources, but USDA has a policy not to require the acceptance and performance of contracts for the production of hemp.
As you are already aware, USDA discontinued research on hemp decades ago. It may be true that varieties presently grown for hallucinating purposes are short in stature as compared to those grown for the purposes. With modern day breeding methods, however, the hallucinating characteristics could easily be incorporated into the tall growing plants and they would be indistinguishable from each other.
We appreciate your contacting us on this issue
Dan Glickman Secretary