On Monday, May 6th, a federal appeals court – along with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) – ruled that CBD will officially be classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
The decision was made by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, right on the heels of FDA officials’ announcement to endorse the federal approval of Epidiolex, a cannabidiol-based drug used to treat childhood Dravet syndrome; and will be a huge setback for the CBD industry in the United States.
The DEA categorizes drugs through a series of guidelines they use to determine its medical value and potential for abuse. A Schedule 1 drug – which CBD is not classified as – is considered to have the MOST potential for abuse and addiction, and no accepted medical purpose. It’s now considered on the same level as heroin, which takes over 42,000 American lives annually from overdose.
CBD producers and company owners are committed to overturning this decision. “We will be appealing, and we will be funding that appeal,” said Michael Brubeck, plaintiff of this case CEO of Nevada-based Centuria Natural Foods. “CBD can be extracted from legal hemp flowers, and there is no way to tell whether extracted CBD came from marijuana or from hemp,” he continued. “Plus, the DEA is attempting to add a new substance to the Controlled Substances Act, which is something it cannot do.”
The DEA responded by claiming they were just adding the provision extract to provide clarity to the existing marijuana scheduling. They also claimed that this ruling does not violate the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill), which had provisions to allow the growth and production of industrial hemp.
The hemp / CBD industry has 45 days from the date of the decision to petition the 9th Circuit to even consider their appeal.[Image Credit: Pixabay]