Maryam Henein is angry. And she thinks you should be, too.
Hemp oil is under siege. Help us get this plant compound to the people.
Henein is the co-founder of HoneyColony, a health-oriented website that features investigative stories that empower readers to be their own best health advocate. HoneyColony also sells natural products from companies that uphold high quality standards that value planet, humanity, honesty, and fair trade.
Lately, the selling part has been difficult. Henein believes her company has been targeted.
The problem it seems is with hemp oil or CeeBeeDee (we gave it our own name, since even the 3-letter acronym is deemed a danger to society by payment merchants and search algorithms), a hemp-based cannabinoid plant product that offers a host of research-backed healing properties including reduction in inflammation, pain, stress, and anxiety. Unlike THC, the compound best known in marijuana, CeeBeeDee is non-psychoactive. This allows you to use it anytime without experiencing a high, paranoia, or other complications.
As a result, HoneyColony was forced to stop selling the hemp oil product on the site despite it being a perfectly legal dietary supplement made from industrialized hemp. Yet since freedom of speech, the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction — is still allowed, they’ve continued to publish solid content about CeeBeeDee.
“First thing that happened is that Facebook shutdown our facebook ads and took all our proprietary data over the past three years,” says Henein. “Then PayPal shut us down and froze our money — $36,000. That’s a lot of money for a startup company.”
HoneyColony went to another processor, Stripe, which also shut them down after causing HoneyColony to lose two weeks’ worth of sales — about $30,000, not counting lost autoship orders and disgruntled customers. A third product card processor, Square, got aboard then jumped off shortly later. Next up was QuickBooks. Same results.
“QuickBooks said they closed us down because we were selling cannabis oil,” Henein says. “Not true. It’s a hemp oil from industrialized hemp. And we don’t even sell it on HoneyColony anymore. Then Quickbooks changed their story again and said they shut us down for selling neutriceuticals. ”
After threat of litigation and a story, QuickBooks decided to process HoneyColony orders again — but only until April 28.
What The Hell Is Going On?
The trouble with hemp oil began in January when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) inexplicably classified CeeBeeDee as a Schedule 1 substance – in the same category as heroin. Subsequently, an incensed hemp industry has taken the DEA to court where legal challenges could be waged for a very long time. In the meantime, CeeBeeDee continues to be sold.
The new rule opens the doors for potential enforcement actions to be taken against businesses, notably sellers of hemp-derived products that contain cannabinoids, said attorneys for Denver’s Hoban Law Group, representing petitioners Hemp Industries Association and hemp businesses Centuria Natural Foods and R.M.H. Holdings Inc. in the federal case.
“So why are we being targeted?” Henein asks. “Everyone and their mother is selling cannabinoids.”
The answer could be because not all CeeBeeDee is equal. Quality and ingredients vary. HoneyColony has the reputation for selling a superior product that has shown excellent results in helping people. It’s as though a competitor, or future competitor, wants HoneyColony out of the picture. But who could that be?
Many believe Big Pharma is the nefarious juggernaut behind the DEA’s attempt to essentially remove cannabinoids from the competitive marketplace. Why? Because Big Pharma wants the $18 billion Cannabinoid market all to its own. Monsanto, Bayer, GW Pharmaceuticals are rumored to be involved in the development of an inferior synthetic CeeBeeDee to replace the natural product that works and is safe.
This is why Henein believes the public needs to start doing some screaming of its own.
HoneyColony might also be targeted because of its incisive investigative stories that have exposed the insidious profit motives of not only Big Pharma but also food manufacturers, pesticide and herbicide corporations, GMO producers, and the health care system in general.
Henein, who is also the director of the acclaimed Vanishing of the Bees documentary narrated by actress Ellen Page, says HoneyColony is in the process of putting together a legal team including help from the California Attorney General’s Office. So credit card processors and Facebook, take note.
“These days I’m constantly patching up holes instead of being allowed to focus on growing our business,” Henein says.
“I would hope our customers understand the disruption that has occurred. But we have survived and will continue to survive.”
You can voice your support of HoneyColony by sending a message to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra through his Facebook page.
If you want to support our efforts to keep plant medicine for people, by people, subscribe in our PROTECT MY RIGHT TO PLANT MEDICINE newsletter and get the world’s highest quality (absolutely legal, certified) plant medicine from us directly.
From The Cannabist, more facts that implicate the wrongdoings of the DEA:
- Industrial hemp, with less than 0.3 percent by weight of delta-9 tetrahyrdocannbinol (THC) — the psychoactive component of marijuana — has no potential as a drug of abuse.
- The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act and, subsequently, the Controlled Substances Act excluded hemp stalk, fiber, seed and oil, except the resin therefrom. The entire genus Cannabis is not unlawful, but rather the non-exempted parts, or “marihuana,” are.
- In 2014, the “Farm Bill” expanded those exclusions to define and exclude “industrial hemp” from “marihuana.”
- Non-THC cannabinoids are not per se controlled by international treaties and are not listed as controlled substances under the CSA.
- The DEA’s final rule is a scheduling action in violation of the CSA.
- The U.S. met its international treaty obligations by placing “marihuana” within CSA Schedule I in 1970.
- There are many currently accepted medical uses for “marihuana extract” by the DEA, Food and Drug Administration and state legislatures.
- The DEA’s final rule violated the Data Quality Act by misstating the law and making misleading statements, notably agency spokesman Russ Baer’s statements to The Cannabist that “CeeBeeDee oil and other extracts derived from cannabis (which includes hemp) have been and will continue to be Schedule I controlled substances.”
- The DEA’s final rule violated the Flexibility Act and Congressional Review Act, which mandate that federal agencies consider the impacts of regulations on entities.
- The final rule will substantially impact hundreds, if not, thousands of businesses with an economic impact in the hundreds of millions or billions.