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FDA wants CBD completely descheduled, but DEA cites treaties (Newsletter: Oct. 2, 2018)



Lawmakers press Sessions on cannabis licenses; CA gov goes out with anti-marijuana furor; White House acknowledges marijuana committee’s existence

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in a just-released letter sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration earlier this year, determined that CBD “does not meet the criteria for placement” in any schedule of the Controlled Substances Act. But DEA ended up putting Epidiolex in Schedule V and keeping CBD itself otherwise in Schedule I, citing international treaty obligations.

A bipartisan group of 15 members of Congress sent a letter demanding that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Drug Enforcement Administration stop stalling on licenses to grow marijuana for research:

  • “Congress will act if the Administration does not.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who has frequently been hostile to marijuana policy reform, is ending his long political career by vetoing several cannabis and drug-related bills, including proposals to authorize free medicine giveaways to low-income patients, allow safe injection sites, let children access medical cannabis at schools and provide for standard tax deductions for marijuana businesses.


The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy acknowledged the existence of a Trump administration marijuana policy committee, but disputed the notion that it is “secret” or biased against cannabis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it will continue to implement the 2014 Farm Bill’s provisions allowing state industrial hemp research programs even though the overall legislation expired at the end of last month.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) sent a press release about the White House’s marijuana committee. He also tweeted, “Government-sponsored propaganda shouldn’t undermine use of fact-based data to inform marijuana policy.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Seattle has just agreed to vacate all past marijuana misdemeanor convictions dating back to 1996 — when municipal courts began handling cases. This is how we can begin to finally help communities of color recover from the disastrous ‘War on Drugs.'”

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) tweeted, “What has marijuana legalization meant for our state? Recent reports show: – Black market explosion – Zero tax revenue gains – Uncontrolled production – No decreases in alcohol use”

New York Democratic congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano said she supports legalizing marijuana and granting amnesty to those with low-level convictions.


New Jersey Gov.  Phil Murphy (D) said marijuana legalization will happen “sooner than later.” (About 20 minutes into the linked video.

Michigan activists released an analysis showing that the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure would generate nearly $130 million in annual tax revenue. Separately, regulators said that medical cannabis businesses must obtain licenses by October 31 or close their doors.

North Dakota activists released a web ad in favor of the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, while opponents launched a billboard.

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray said during a debate that medical cannabis is an alternative to opioids.

New York Republican attorney general candidate Keith Wofford supports medical cannabis but has concerns about marijuana legalization.

Arkansas regulators approved medical cannabis rules.

Guam senators are considering allowing home cultivation of medical cannabis.

U.S. Virgin Islands senators are clashing over medical cannabis legislation.

Florida regulators asked an appeals court to block a case from a nursery that claims it should receive a medical cannabis cultivation license.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner is urging people to submit hemp cultivation applications.

Maine regulators sent a warning about the risks of accidental ingestion of marijuana edibles.

The Vermont marijuana legalization study commission’s taxation and regulation subcommittee will meet next week.


Colombian President Ivan Duque signed a decree allowing police to confiscate personal use amounts of illegal drugs and fine possessors, but its constitutionality is being questioned.


Massachusetts marijuana legalization advocates held a press conference urging regulators to more quickly bring the recreational market online.


A study of rats found that “cannabidiol can reduce the motivation to seek and consume methamphetamine, and suggests that cannabidiol might be worth trialing as a novel pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine dependence.”

A scientific review suggest that “psilocybin can provide therapeutic benefits,” “adverse effects of medical psilocybin are manageable” and “placement in Schedule IV may be appropriate if a psilocybin-containing medicine is approved.”


The Wall Street Journal looks at how Canadian investment banks are benefiting from marijuana legalization.

The latest issue of Adweek has a couple of cannabis-focused articles.


Weedcraft Inc. is forthcoming video game that lets players navigate the challenges of running a marijuana business.

Singer Toni Braxton is serving as a spokeswoman for CBD product company Uncle Bud’s.

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Photo by Brendan Cleak.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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