The DEA announced this week that they would be removing CBD from Schedule I, which marks a landmark victory in the fight for cannabis legalization. What does this mean for the legalization movement, and the future of the cannabis industry?
The DEA announced their decision Thursday, stating “finished dosage formulations” of CBD with a THC percentage below 0.1% would now be considered Schedule V drugs, that is as long as they are approved by the FDA. That last part is very important because it does not necessarily include CBD tinctures or topicals that you buy at a dispensary, or ones that you make at home.
As of right now only one CBD drug has been approved by the FDA: Epidiolex, which is made by British pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals. One can make the argument that this is why CBD has been rescheduled in the first place. I know that’s certainly the argument that I am making. Nonetheless, progress is progress.
So, What does Rescheduling Mean?
Now that FDA approved CBD medications are being removed from Schedule I this means that physicians can now prescribe them to patients, which they could not before. Schedule I drugs are not seen as viable for medical use. Again, this is only one drug that doctors can now prescribe. Epidiolex is a very expensive drug ($32.5K buys you a year of treatment) and as such will not be an option to the general public. Most people will continue to buy their CBD from the dispensary.
That’s the downside. The good news is that if you are caught with CBD in a non legal state, cops are probably not going to care too much (disclaimer: please do not test this theory out). Even better news is that research on CBD will no longer be impossible to conduct. This could mean a lot for the reputation of cannabis as a medicine.
What This Means for the Future of Cannabis
Don’t get me wrong. This is a momentous occasion. This is the first time that the DEA has ever removed anything related to cannabis from Schedule I. This does not mean that the DEA is looking to remove THC cannabis from Schedule I anytime soon, but any amount of progress on this issue should portend well for the future.
One thing that will be interesting to watch is how CBD products that have not been approved by the FDA will be treated in both legal and nonlegal states. Another thing to consider is how this new ruling by the DEA will light a fire under the asses of medical states.
Source: Hemp Industry Daily
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Got anything to add? Will this change the way medical cannabis is looked at? Tell us in the comments below!