Connect with us

News

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: The Truth About the DEA and CBD

Avatar

Published

on

CBDThe Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) filed a new rule stating that cannabis extracts and any cannabinoids such as CBD are now classified as a Schedule I Drug. However, according to Todd Winter, ESQ, a founder and Managing Partner at WINTER LLP, the DEA isn’t exactly operating within the confines of the law. In fact, the way Winter sees things, there are a number of red flags that need to be addressed when looking at the way the DEA has approached this subject and this strange ruling.

On Tuesday, December 13, the DEA amended the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)—and it’s is sending waves of panic through the cannabis industry. According to the amended CFR, cannabis extracts are apparently labeled a Schedule I substance, and that may drastically affect how extract companies operate in the U.S.

As a result, the DEA stated that all cannabis extract companies must rewrite their paperwork to reflect the update by January 13, 2017. This change may greatly hinder many extract companies’ ability to sell legally in multiple states, and even worse, may hurt the patients who rely on those companies for CBD-based products. It’s not just the news of the new rule that was suspicious, but the wording as well. The DEA felt the need to use any reference to cannabis as “marihuana.” Additionally, CBD derived from hemp is not specifically defined under the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Therefore, it is not a Schedule I Substance under the United States Code (USC).

CULTURE talked with Winter about the DEA’s rule and why their move doesn’t mean that CBD and other cannabis extracts are a Schedule I substance, but, CULTURE also spoke with DEA Headquarters Public Affairs Officer Barbara Carreno about the rule and what the DEA plans are on the topic moving forward.

The public opinion on this ruling is currently ill-informed. Following the amendment to the CFR, impatient advocates  immediately began to assume the worst. Some made wild accusations about the DEA’s motives without fully understanding how the amendment would affect cannabis and CBD or extract businesses and patients. Keywords including “CBD OIL DECLARED Schedule I,” calling it a “new law” as if it were an official supreme court movement, or claiming that the DEA has “banned” CBD.

Barbara Carreno was happy to set the record straight about the DEA’s move, explaining to us that it was an internal decision made to help their work more effective and clear. “This Federal Register Notice does not change the control status of anything having to do with marijuana,” she said. “These extracts were Schedule I before yesterday, and they still are. No provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (registration, security requirements, research protocols, etc.) have changed. This is a record-keeping matter.”

Todd Winter also explained that the DEA’s recent amendment will not affect anyone in the ways that news outlets have initially been reporting: “The CSA has not changed; there has been no change in law. CBD derived from hemp is not illegal; it’s not a Schedule I drug regardless of what the DEA has done,” Winter said. “Judicial enforcement or judicial resolution of what the DEA has done is not going to happen because it didn’t really happen legally. Regardless of what the DEA has done, or said, or written on the changes they have made, it’s totally irrelevant because it’s not law.  Only Congress can pass our laws, so anyone currently selling CBD derived from hemp products can continue to sell this as if this didn’t happen, because in my opinion, this didn’t even happen.” Although it’s still unclear regarding how CBD derived from hemp is defined, as far as current knowledge goes, nothing in general has changed. This entire topic was meant to be an internal-only situation.

When asked about the Federal Register that received the amendment, he discussed the important differences between the CFR and USC, “The CFR is written by governmental agencies to come up with subject matter of the laws, but it has no legal basis whatsoever, with respect to interpretation or enforcement,” Winter added. “The CFR is a group of federal agencies, and the USC is the actual code of law that is enacted by Congress.”

But why did this happen? Why did the DEA publish such a modification, and why did the DEA feel it necessary to state that cannabis extracts should be classified as Schedule I?  Carreno explained that separating the many different compounds is essential to the FDA and DEA process in rescheduling cannabis, and in the new research that the DEA is demanding on the cannabis plant, they need to figure out a way for cannabis compounds to be recreated in a laboratory, in order to be rescheduled.

“DEA established a new drug code for marijuana extracts (which includes, but isn’t limited to, CBD) as a means to more easily and accurately track scientific research on marijuana,” she continued. “The cannabis plant contains hundreds of compounds, and there are over 400 studies into marijuana and its various components taking place. Separating the extracts from other parts of the cannabis plant makes our work more efficient.”

Winter suggested that advocates and interested parties fully educate themselves in the legal matters like this and to keep supporting one another to be as knowledgeable as possible in the industry, so misinformation is not perpetuated. “I think just continue to move forward as a community, supporting one another is how we got here and the only way to continue pushing forward,” said Winter. “People in the industry, business owners, and peripheral companies in the industry can’t get caught up in all this noise. They have to continue fighting for what the truth is, and not just the first news that’s pushed out, that spreads like wildfire in the industry. Any news spreads like wildfire in our industry, good or bad, but it’s taking a moment to step back to find the truth behind it and proceed accordingly.”

Continue Reading

News

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Cannabis Home Delivery in California

Avatar

Published

on

A California judge recently dismissed a lawsuit that sought to overturn a ruling that allows cannabis companies to deliver across the state, even in cities and counties where cannabis sales are prohibited.  

A group of local governments argued that allowing cannabis deliveries in any jurisdiction was taking over their authority to regulate cannabis sales. In a ruling, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Rosemary McGuire said the state’s delivery regulations and local ordinances “do not occupy the same field and are not in conflict.”

Cannabis deliveries can continue under the state regulations. McGuire said the state rule does not impact the rights to regulate cannabis or cannabis delivery and added local jurisdictions can impose regulatory and health and safety standards that are stricter than state laws.

“It’s not a loss, but it’s not a win for delivery,” said Zach Pitts, CEO of Los Angeles-based Ganja Goddess and a board member of the California Cannabis Couriers Association. “What I really don’t like is the possibility that we’re still going to have to litigate this and in many ways, that’s putting the litigation onto small companies…with every single city and county that decides to ban delivery.”

There are some counties that don’t allow cannabis sales so without statewide delivery, people living in those counties wouldn’t have access to cannabis, whether for recreational purposes or for medical use. Deputy Attorney General Ethan Turner said cities can still require cannabis delivery businesses to apply for a business license from the city and follow city ordinances.

“It’s legal here and they already bought it. All we are doing is getting it to them. They didn’t buy it at the door or anything. They just received it,” said Ethan Bowers, who helps run a cannabis grow in Northern California. We all thought it was crazy that they would try and stop it. And, if it had passed in court, we’d be looking anywhere for more sales, as at-home sales are really big during COVID-19.” 

Continue Reading

News

Legislator Predicts Recreational Cannabis Legalization for Connecticut in 2021

Avatar

Published

on

Connecticut could be the next state to legalize recreational cannabis as more neighboring states are working on their own legalization efforts. Incoming House Speaker Matt Ritter recently stated that there is a “50-50” chance to legalize cannabis in 2021.

A measure to legalize cannabis in the state has repeatedly failed over the past five years, but Democrats hold the majority in the state House and in the state Senate. With recreational cannabis legal in Massachusetts and New Jersey and other neighboring states considering legalization, the Governor of Connecticut believes his state will be next.

“Right now, I’m surrounded by states—New Jersey and Massachusetts—where marijuana is already legal. I don’t need a lot of people driving back and forth across the border,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. “We’re trying to keep people close to home as best we can right now. I think legalizing marijuana—doing that safely and making sure that no poison is laced in—I think is one to keep people closer to home.”

Ritter disputed the claim that one of the main reasons the lawmakers are pushing for legalization is to use the tax revenue to close the state budget gap. A study conducted at the University of Connecticut found legal recreational cannabis could bring in $100 million in tax revenue in just four years. “To me, marijuana has nothing to do with revenue,” Ritter said. “I could care less. Every year that goes by brings in less revenue for the state. I don’t care if it brings in one dollar or $30 million. It’s completely irrelevant to me.”

Ritter stated that his two main reasons for supporting cannabis legalization are the expungement of criminal offenses of those who have been impacted by the War on Drugs, and that cannabis is all around the state of Connecticut and the state can’t “fortify its border” and pretend people aren’t just going to buy it elsewhere.

Continue Reading

News

FDA Provides Updates on Research Gaps for Regulating Cannabis

Avatar

Published

on

It has long been a point of contention for the legal cannabis industry that cannabis products have not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While cannabis is still federally illegal, the FDA recently addressed some of the challenges in regulating cannabis compounds and products containing cannabis.

According to the FDA, not having access to enough research data is one of the main issues that the organization faces. Specifically, the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health notes that many CBD products are marketed toward women, such as sex products, and more research is essential in order to better understand the effects of those products. “As women are generally the principal healthcare consumers in the US, understanding sex and gender differences between women and men must be at the forefront of our minds,” said Kaveeta Vasisht, director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health and associate commissioner for women’s health.

In addition to regulating CBD, one of the most popular legal cannabis derivatives on the market, the FDA is also looking for more information on regulating THC and other popular compounds such as CBN and CBG, as well as terpenes. “FDA’s responsibilities are over the entire spectrum of the products derived from cannabis and the FDA must be prepared to regulate them in the most appropriate ways,” said Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for regulatory programs at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Overall, the FDA outlines some major problem areas due to lack of knowledge, including logistics, evolving legislation, increased legality of cannabis and scientific uncertainty. The plan is to tackle these areas and gain more knowledge so they can properly regulate cannabis of all types. This includes employing the help of cross-agency committees called the “CBD Working Group,” which enlists the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Drug Evaluation, Center for Biological Evaluation and Research, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Center for Veterinary Medicine, National Center for Toxicology Research, Center for Tobacco Products and Coordinated by the Office of the Commissioner.

Continue Reading

Newsletter

Trending