Regulatory (Re-)Scheduling of CBD & its Drug Abuse Liability (DAL)

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In September 2018, the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) placed Epidiolex—a CBD-based drug used to treat severe forms of epilepsy—in Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), the lowest classification under the CSA.  That re-scheduling, however, was limited in scope: only drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and containing no more than .01 percent THC were re-scheduled.  CBD, a derivative of “marihuana,” remains a Schedule I substance in the eyes of the DEA.   This panel will explore the impact of the DEA’s re-scheduling of Epidiolex; what effect, if any, the re-scheduling may have on enforcement in the United States; and what this means for the possible re-scheduling of CBD more generally in the future.  The panel will also explore the FDA’s position regarding CBD, including its recent recommendation that CBD be de-scheduled “promptly” if the United States’ obligations under certain international treaties change.

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