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Press Release: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules to Keep Hemp Foods Legal

Sebastopol, CA – The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a “stay” on the DEA’s proposed March 21, 2003, “final” rules. Along with the March 2002, ruling on the “interim” rules, the Court has now twice rejected DEA’s attempt to ban hemp foods. “It’s a great legal victory that affirms Americans’ rights to enjoy hemp foods and oil,” says John W. Roulac, hemp author and founding president of hemp food manufacturer, Nutiva. “Hempseed is the most nutritious seed in the world. The hemp foods industry is now poised to fulfill its promise of creating a billion dollar industry in the coming decade,” he adds. America’s leading hemp food brand, Nutiva, offers certified-organic hemp and flax food bars, organic hemp oil and shelled hempseed.

Congress exempted non-viable hemp seed and oil from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA – see 21 U.S.C. 802(16)) because it recognized that trace concentrations of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in hempseed are insignificant (at a few parts per million) and non-psychoactive. The hemp exemption was provided in the same manner that Congress exempted poppy seeds from the CSA, despite the fact that they contain trace opiates otherwise subject to control. The 9th Circuit Court will hear the entire case of the “final” DEA rules sometime in the coming year. “We are optimistic, as the Court has now ruled twice against the DEA based on hardships to the hemp foods industry, and expect a final decision in our favor,” notes Roulac. Depending on the final court ruling, either the DEA or the industry can appeal the case to the US Supreme Court as a last recourse. Imagine the specter in 2005 or 2006 of the Supreme Court deciding on the fate of hemp foods-which by then will be sold in tens of thousands of stores and in use by millions of Americans? To download a hardcopy of the court ruling, please visit

Nutiva – Nourishing People and Planet
Nutiva sales are increasing at a rapid clip and the company is on track to achieve close to $1 million in sales in 2003. Nutiva demonstrates its mission to nourish people and planet by using healthy organic ingredients, enriching the soil and supporting just and sustainable causes. Nutiva donates 1% of sales to groups that promote sustainable agriculture. Founded in 1999, Nutiva offers nutritious organic hemp as well as flax food bars, hemp oil and oil capsules, and shelled hempseed nationwide at more than 1,600 natural food retailers. For more information, call (800) 993-4367, or write Nutiva, P.O. Box 1716, Sebastopol, CA 95473

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