A drug derived from marijuana has triggered the first federal shift on cannabis in half a century, and experts predict an avalanche effect
Published on 9/27/18
Major developments in cannabis policy reform came earlier this year when the FDA approved the first cannabis-based medication, Epidiolex. The approval from the FDA meant that the DEA had 90 days to reform their the scheduling on marijuana, and right around that 3 month mark the DEA made a change, but not what anyone was expecting. Rather than specify CBD and reschedule to a proper classification they instead have rescheduled drugs containing CBD down to Schedule 5, but only if they have previously been approved by the FDA. While this is still a positive move forward it's not quite as helpful as many had hoped. And to top it off it turns out that the CBD-based FDA approved drug, Epidiolex, will be coming to market, but around the price of $32,500 a year. Luckily for patients who benefit from CBD it is available without a prescription in many places allover the United States, however most of the easily available products are less regulated and less tested than those that are approved and regulated by the FDA.
The Drug Enforcement Administration announced the change to its classification of Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs containing CBD on Thursday, roughly three months after the FDA approved Epidiolex as a medication.
That's not exactly what happened. Instead of rescheduling CBD, the agency chose to reschedule drugs containing CBD that the FDA has already approved; those drugs will now be classified as Schedule 5. But at the moment, the only drug that fits the description is Epidiolex.