It was lunch hour at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Dec. 4, but the goodies on offer to DEA employees were less than welcome in the eyes of law enforcement officers. D.C.-area hemp-food manufacturers and enthusiasts gathered outside the DEA’s Pentagon City, Va., headquarters to protest a recent ban on all hemp-seed and hemp-oil products containing THC, arguing that the minuscule amount of THC in hemp foods is less than the amount of opiates in poppy-seed bagels. Protesters planned to distribute free samples of hemp foods to DEA employees with the midday munchies, but the obtrusive presence of 13 police and security officers along the perimeter of the agency’s property killed off the appetite of many in the target audience. (The beefed-up security, according to DEA spokesperson Rogene Waite, was for a symposium on narco-terrorism being held in the building’s auditorium.) “People aren’t necessarily into taking samples with 20 cops standing around,” said David Bronner, chair of the Hemp Industries Association’s Food and Oil Committee. “But we’ve definitely educated a number of people on the issue.” — Zack Phillips

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