Medicinal Marijuana Status in the United States
Weed Delivery West Hollywood — As Democrats control the House, Senate, and presidency, marijuana reform proponents hope for federal legislation shortly. 296 members of Congress (68%) represent the 33 states having medical marijuana in 2019, hence there are enough votes to approve laws.
New Congress has many marijuana related bills.
Viridian Capital Advisors says marijuana companies raised $116.8 billion in 2019. This tendency will continue, but banking reform is crucial for the U.S. sector. Big banks fear laundering charges if they engage with these companies. This represents huge risks and inconvenience for cash-only enterprises. The American Bankers Association has pushed for more legal clarity and connecting federal and state law. If proposals like the SAFE Banking Act pass, banks may warm up to cannabis. William Barr said he won’t prosecute marijuana companies in legal states. The current gap between state and federal law is “untenable,” he said. He supports banning marijuana nationwide.
President Biden wants marijuana decriminalized and possession convictions removed. Kamala Harris co-sponsored Senator Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act, which decriminalizes marijuana. Harris supports expunging marijuana convictions and decriminalization/legalization. CBD Marijuana has been used to cure ailments for centuries. 1937’s Marihuana Tax Act banned it in the U.S. In modern America, the plant is increasingly accepted as a treatment for chronic pain and convulsions. CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabis component, is mostly responsible. It doesn’t get people high. CBD is marketed in oils, sprays, creams, tablets, and gummies and lollipops. CBD manufacturers claim it can relieve pain, anxiety, and sadness. It may aid cancer patients.
CBD is trending. “CBD gummies” was Google’s third-most-searched food phrase in the U.S. in 2018. Constellation Brands (STZ.B) and Altria Group (MO) have invested billions in marijuana companies. CBD market estimates say this isn’t a fad. BD generated from hemp will expand from $390 million in 2018 to $1.3 billion by 2022, according to New Frontier Data. The hemp CBD market might reach $22 billion by 2022, according to Brightfield Group. Brightfield’s MD Bethany Gomez defended its prediction: “We’re a team of conservative analysts, so we didn’t take this lightly; these are conservative statistics. The weird and hard regulatory system surrounding this industry will always be two steps ahead, one step back. Some regulations and roadblocks are inevitable. This industry has too much momentum, demand, and promise to fail.”
FDA softening on CBD?
All medications containing Schedule I substance CBD require FDA approval. In June 2018, the FDA approved a CBD-derived medicine. GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex is in Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act, which means it has a limited abuse risk. Under federal law, it’s unlawful to sell CBD-containing food or supplements, but the FDA says that may change. December 2018 press release: “Although such items are normally banned from interstate commerce, the FDA can approve a medicinal ingredient in a food or dietary supplement. We’re evaluating whether to pursue this approach.” The statement was released after the Farm Bill legalized hemp, another source of CBD.
This is good news for companies betting on the substance despite its unclear legal status. Can investors expect all CBD to be scheduled or descheduled soon? False. International conventions the U.S. has signed make CBD delisting difficult. Only FDA-approved marijuana-derived medications with low THC levels can join Epidiolex in Schedule V.
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