The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) made big news this week with its decision to schedule Epidiolex, GW Pharma’s marijuana-derived CBD epilepsy drug, as a Schedule V controlled substance. The DEA’s order places “FDA-approved drugs that contain CBD derived from cannabis and no more than 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinols in schedule V.”
We’ve received a lot of questions from clients and potential clients about the status of CBD products now that Epidiolex has been rescheduled, and the answer is actually pretty simple, much to the chagrin of many clients hoping for an easing up on CBD products. Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved drug that is moving to Schedule 5 (likely followed by other big pharma products in the queue for FDA approval). This does not change the DEA’s view on the legal status of all other CBD products as being squarely within Schedule I (including those derived from hemp, against the complaints from the hemp industry who disagree with DEA’s interpretation). And it doesn’t change California’s ban on hemp-based products (including CBD) in food products and alcohol products.
All of this could change if hemp gets descheduled as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, which on last check, may not get through before the 2014 Farm Bill expires this Sunday and could be delayed for a vote until after the November 6th midterm elections.
For more on the legal status of CBD, please read the piece I did for the Daily Journal. I’ll also be speaking on the topic of wine and cannabis this Sunday in Napa at an event hosted by the U.S. Chapter of AIDV (the International Wine Law Association), at SommCon in San Diego on November 15th and soon-to-be-announced at the Unified Symposium in Sacramento at the end of January, 2019.