Hemp Food Industry Wins 3-Year Battle

From a Times Staff Writer

The hemp food industry declared victory Monday in its three-year battle over the federal government’s effort to ban sales and consumption of bread, protein powders and other food products made from the psychoactively benign botanical cousin of marijuana.

Federal officials declined to appeal a February ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejecting the Drug Enforcement Administration’s attempts to block sales and consumption of hemp foods.

“It’s a great legal victory,” said John W. Roulac, chief executive of Nutiva, a Sebastopol, Calif., producer of hemp protein powder and nutrition bars.

Boosters say that hemp seeds and oils contain only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the intoxicating ingredient in cannabis, but are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and other helpful nutrients.