01 May Why HempMeds® Imports Our Hemp from Europe
As a company, HempMeds® is often asked why we import our hemp – instead of sourcing it from here in the U.S. This is a complicated question: one we have put a lot of thought into. There are a number of important factors guiding our choice to grow our hemp in Europe, including hemp’s legal status and the experience of European cultivators.
Hemp’s Legal Status in the U.S.
Hemp has had a complicated legal status in the U.S. since the country started its drug war. Too often this incredibly useful plant gets negatively associated with psychoactive marijuana, causing a patchwork of laws and regulations about the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp.
After the DEA announced in 2001 that, going forward, hemp intended for food use would be illegal. The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) successfully sued the DEA to stop the rule from taking effect. In 2003, the DEA attempted to again prohibit the production and sale of hemp-based foods. Like just a few years before, the HIA sued to stay the regulations.
On February 6, 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision in favor of the HIA in which Judge Betty Fletcher wrote, “[T]hey (DEA) cannot regulate naturally-occurring THC not contained within or derived from marijuana-i.e. non-psychoactive hemp is not included in Schedule I. The DEA has no authority to regulate drugs that are not scheduled, and it has not followed procedures required to schedule a substance. The DEA’s definition of “THC” contravenes the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and cannot be upheld”.
After the DEA declined to appeal to the Supreme Court, the HIA claimed victory, with the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision protecting the sale of hemp foods. Hemp remains legal for import and sale throughout the U.S.
However, U.S. farmers still are not permitted to grow hemp for commercial use. The 2014 Farm Bill allows farmers to cultivate hemp as part of state-run pilot programs, but only for research purposes. Although a number of states have adopted these pilot programs, the hemp produced is restricted from commercial use.
European Growers Are More Experienced
Unlike domestic hemp growers, who only have a few years of experience growing hemp seeds bred to thrive in the climates and soils of other countries, cultivators in Europe have been growing hemp for generations and countries in the EU are among some of the largest producers of hemp in the world. Countries like the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, and France rank among some of the largest hemp producers in the world.
Superior Quality of Our Hemp
Our non-GMO hemp seeds were specially chosen from among 3000 possible hemp cultivars because they thrive in our farms’ microclimates and produce the ideal ratio of cannabinoids for our award-winning products.
Our hemp is grown free of herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers to protect our customers from any residual contamination, making our hemp oil products as safe as they can be. To ensure the integrity of our products, we hold all our products to our strict Triple Lab Tested™ standard, requiring our hemp oil to be lab quality tested at three points in the manufacturing process.
Hemp is experiencing a resurgence in recent years in America, with the number of acres planted increasing each season. HempMeds® will continue to evaluate the many political, economic, and logistic factors involved in our decision to source our hemp from European growers as the U.S. moves legislatively closer to domestic hemp production for commercial use.