Santa Rosa, California-based HempNut Inc has announced that it believes it is the only Drug Enforcement Administration-compliant hempseed food and importing company in the US.

Pursuant to a new DEA regulation effective 7 February, THC is banned in hempseed products for human consumption. Since 1994 HempNut foods have contained no THC, in anticipation of this move by DEA, the company said today.

DEA gave hempseed producers and importers 14 months to comply. "The DEA rule is reasonable, expected, and was issued with surprising sensitivity to the hemp food consumer," said Richard Rose, founder and president of HempNut Inc. "But it is merely a clarification of the policy which HempNut, DEA, and US Customs have operated on for years; namely, that hempseed products may not contain THC. Other industries have government regulations they must comply with, and this is no different," said Rose.

Recently, DEA spokesman Will Glaspy said "I think there is a lot of misinformation out there, that we are trying to ban all hemp products. That is not the case. I think a lot of people have overreacted to this." HempNut, Inc. made zero-THC products a priority because of customer and quality concerns.

"For the first time ever DEA officially made non-food hemp products legal even if they contain THC, such as body care, clothes, and paper; and made hemp foods legal as long as they do not contain THC. This is a big change in policy for them, a legitimization of hemp's legal status, and a very positive step forward. Now we can continue to import hemp products without the fear of legal issues," said Rose, who is also founder and director of the Hemp Food Association (http://www.hempfood.com), and is the world's most experienced hempseed food producer. With 22 years in the natural foods industry, and eight years in hempseed foods, Rose has long been an advocate for improving technology to remove THC adhering to the outside of hempseed.

Hempseed is mankind's oldest food crop, having been used as a human food around the world for at least 5,000 years.

It's one of the most nutritious foods, with a significant amount of omega-3 essential fatty acid, which many medical journals have recently reported helpful for a variety of diseases. Hempseed is higher in protein than meat and fish, and is very high quality, comparable to egg white.

To read just-food.com's feature of the week on the DEA ruling, click here.

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