Bill Proposes Removal of Medical Marijuana from Controlled Substance Lists

Eileen Oldfield, Associate Editor
Published Online: Friday, August 1, 2014
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A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would exclude medical marijuana products from the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana. 

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives July 28, 2014, proposes amending the definition of marijuana to exclude medical marijuana from controlled substance lists.

The Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 proposes excluding therapeutic hemp and cannabidiol from the Controlled Substances Act’s “definition of marihuana (sic),” according to a copy of the bill text available through the Library of Congress. The amendments specifically state that the therapeutic hemp and cannabidiol should not be treated as controlled substances under the act. It defines therapeutic hemp as Cannabis sativa L, and any part of that plant with a THC concentration lower than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. Cannabidiol refers to the substance derived from therapeutic hemp, the bill text continues. 

In addition, the bill recommends excluding therapeutic hemp or cannabidiol from Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act sections covering controlled substances. 

The bill further notes that its provisions do not restrict or prohibit use, production, or distribution activities in states where marijuana is legal under law. 

Representatives Scott Perry (R-PA), Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) sponsored the bill HR 5226. It was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Judiciary Committee after its introduction, states

Medical marijuana remains under debate among the medical and law enforcement community, as Pharmacy Times Drug Diversion and Abuse columnist CMDR John Burke notes in his December 2013 column. If the substance is the “wonder drug” proponents claim, it should be subject to the same FDA approval process as traditional pharmaceuticals, and should be dispensed at the pharmacy, Burke suggests. 

CMDR Burke revisited the medical marijuana topic in a sidebar accompanying his February 2014 Drug Diversion and Abuse column, which focused on edible marijuana products

Pharmacy Times blogger Jay Sochoka, noting the increase in states approving medical marijuana, questions the reasons pharmacists are not in charge of dispensing medical cannabis. A follow-up blog addressed comments from his first blog, including the potential medical uses for the substance.

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