Proposed law threatens industrial hemp and turns CBD research over to big pharma

In May 2017, two U.S. Senators, Feinstein and Grassley, introduced the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act S.1276, to the Senate. The act suggests that the government allows research on the medical benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) using Schedule II registration.

The Controlled Substances Act current lists cannabis and its CBD chemical components as Schedule I substances. This is the same categorization as cocaine and heroin.

Moving marijuana and CBD off Schedule I seems like a move in the right direction. The main goal of proposed act is to remove unnecessary barriers to studying CBD’s potential benefits and risks. At least, this is the perspective of Senator Thom Tillis, one of the co-sponsors of the bill.

Yet, there is a much bigger impact that this law would have on the industrial hemp industry. Furthermore, it may give Big Pharma more control over the medical marijuana market.

The Threat to Industrial Hemp

First, let’s consider industrial hemp. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 allows U.S. states to establish industrial hemp research or pilot programs. It also authorizes the study of the potential for the hemp industry. Because CBD can be found in high concentrations in hemp, there are many medical applications.

Such a pilot program is currently underway in North Carolina. Participating farmers have expressed concern about reclassifying CBD. They believe it would threaten their ability to obtains seeds and continue their study of hemp. Brian Morris, owner of Carolina Hemp Co. in Asheville, revealed to ABC affiliate WLOS:

 “It would make it probably impossible to get seeds or clones again, and, if we did so, it would be illegal to plant it.”

“It should be descheduled, not rescheduled to study only. That would kill the entire industry, not just the farmers, but, people like us in our company. We wouldn’t be able to sell it.”

Via Waking Times

Featured Image: Marc Fuyà/Flickr