VA Rejects Veteran’s Hemp Business Certification, Saying It Could Create ‘Appearance’ Of Endorsing Marijuana

VA Rejects Veteran’s Hemp Business Certification, Saying It Could Create ‘Appearance’ Of Endorsing Marijuana
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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has rejected a veteran’s application for recognition of his hemp products company, writing in a denial letter this week that the business’s involvement in “products derived from the same genus of plant (cannabis) as marijuana” would amount to “a federal agency endorsing a Schedule I controlled substance.” The rejection appears to be yet another example of confusion around the federal status of hemp, which is legal under U.S. law and defined as cannabis or its derivatives containing less than 0.3 percent THC. Cannabis products with higher concentrations of THC remain illegal under the Controlled Substances Act. The business in question is Florida–based Holistic Serendipity LLC, which does business as Native Ceuticals Tampa. It operates under a licensing agreement with Native Ceuticals, headquartered in North Carolina. The Florida affiliate company, owned by Marine veteran Zack Zindler, is seeking certification as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), a designation that enables a company to compete for certain federal contracts. While many federal agencies allow businesses to self-certify as SDVOSBs, VA requires verification through its Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE). In the department’s letter denying Zindler’s application, CVE Director John Perkins wrote that verification “would grant the firm the ability to use the VA SDVOSB trademark and therefore may give the appearance that the VA is endorsing a company that promotes the use of a Schedule I controlled substance.” The letter is clear that Native Ceuticals Tampa is a hemp company. “Based on the documentation submitted and online research, the applicant sells hemp derived products,” it says, after a summary of company information that repeatedly refers to hemp. But Perkins nevertheless refers to the federal prohibition of marijuana and insists VA recognition of Native Ceuticals Tampa could create the appearance that the department condones cannabis…

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Source : VA Rejects Veteran’s Hemp Business Certification, Saying It Could Create ‘Appearance’ Of Endorsing Marijuana

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