A bill was introduced to the House of Representatives on January 27 that could change the future of medical cannabis in the United States. H.R. 715, also known as the Compassionate Access Act, aims to decriminalize cannabidiol (CBD) by excluding it from the definition of “marihuana.” H.R. 715 also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services alongside the Institute of the National Academy of Sciences officially recommend for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I.
If the Compassionate Access Act is passed, the bill’s text requires the Administrator of the DEA to consider the recommendations the DEA has received and move to reschedule cannabis from its Schedule I status. The bill does not specify which section cannabis should be rescheduled to, leaving that decision to the DEA’s discretion.
Excluding cannabidiol from the definition of “marihuana” would be a huge win for many people battling debilitating conditions across the nation. According to the bill, “The term ‘cannabidiol’ means the substance cannabidiol, as derived from marihuana or synthetically formulated, that contains not great than 0.3 percent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis.” CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant.
CBD has been proven effective for stopping seizures in patients with Dravet’s Syndrome, intractable epilepsy and other rare seizures disorders. It has also been reported that CBD is great for treating Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has even proven effective at healing and strengthening bones.
Representative Thomas Garrett of Virginia introduced the H.R. 715 to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Garrett introduced the bill on behalf of himself and Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.
CBD is being recognized as medicinal not only in the United States, but there is a global movement towards its acceptance as well. Earlier this year, The Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the United Kingdom admitted that CBD is in fact medicine. Mexico recently approved the importation of CBD derivatives from American company Medical Marijuana, Inc. If H.R. 715 does pass, it will be a huge victory toward cannabis reform.