They say when it rains it pours. In tandem with crazy weather patterns affecting populations across the globe, the cannabis industry is starting to see some precipitation after decades of prohibition-induced drought.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an open public comment period asking citizens to weigh in on opinions related to cannabis – an extraordinary first for the FDA. The action comes as a result from a recent proclamation by the World Health Organization (WHO), which will be reviewing cannabis and cannabis-related substances on their potential to cause dependence, abuse, and harm to health, and potential therapeutic applications via the 40th Expert Committee on Drug Dependence set to meet in Geneva in June 2018. In particular, WHO has found cannabidiol (CBD) to be both safe and effective for epilepsy in pre-review studies.
Now, in a surprise move and before that comment period has even closed, the FDA has announced a favorable review of GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex – a pharmaceutical product derived from the cannabis plant and high in CBD – making it extremely likely that experimental trials could begin in the United States soon.
This comes after two other major announcements by federal level players this past week: former U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner has thrown his hat in the ring, joining the major cannabis investment firm Acreage Holdings; and U.S. President Donald Trump promised Colorado Senator Cory Gardner he would find a solution protect states’ rights in regard to the country’s current patchwork of quasi-legal cannabis laws.
While I am personally skeptical of any promises made by the 45th President, I am more than certain John Boehner will remain committed to his desire to profit from the booming industry that is legal cannabis. While it is disappointing that power and money are driving some of these larger-level policy decisions, rather than compassion and desire to better humanity, nevertheless we will all be better off when patients have access to medicine, and good people can be kept out of the criminal justice system.
Things are happening for cannabis! I think I see some rain clouds on the horizon, so get out your proverbial umbrellas and slickers – I predict the prohibition drought will soon be over! But don’t forget to give your public comments and stay involved in political change – nothing happens in a vacuum and people are still being arrested. On that note, the Rules Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives just declined to include revisions to the tax code to help cannabis businesses operate with normal deductions.
The end of the war may be in sight, but the battle rages on. The United States has unfortunately been the major international proponent of the War on Cannabis, so an end to the war on the American cannabis community will certainly reverberate across the globe.
Don’t miss your chance to get in on the industry while the timing is hot! Stay informed on the latest and most important evolutions in cannabis policy, tech and trends at the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC)! ICBC’s next stops include Vancouver, BC, Canada on June 24-25 and Portland, OR, USA on September 27-28. Get your tickets now to reserve a spot for these historic events!