Representatives Morgan Griffith and Earl Blumenauer, of Virginia and Oregon respectively, recently brought HB 715 back before Capitol Hill. Known as the Compassionate Access Act (CAA) in most contexts, HB 715 was written in an attempt to de-schedule cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) medicines, which are currently considered to be Schedule I drugs with “no medical use.” As such, physicians cannot prescribe CBD treatments to patients, which has acted as a sizeable roadblock to the general advancement of medical marijuana.
HB 715 is not a broad-sweeping stroke of the law, however. While it aims for federal de-scheduling of cannabis, it also keeps control over medicinal use and distribution in the hands of individual states. Under the language of the proposed measure, each state would have the final say in whether CBD-based medicines and products could be legally distributing within its boundaries; a public ballot would likely be used on a state-by-state basis.
Large pharmaceutical companies would immediately benefit from the approval of the Compassionate Access Act, though. With cannabis and CBD removed from the Controlled Substances Act, pharmaceutical companies could begin work on over-the-counter medicines sold in drug stores nationwide. This move has been seen as counterproductive to the independent nature of the medical marijuana movement going on throughout the country, but supported of HB 715 believe it is critical to explore all possible avenues of CBD-based medicines.
The measure will likely be subjected to intense scrutiny from the House of Representatives and the Senate separately. It is not clear how much “wiggle room” is included in the measure for adjustments that could potentially be requested by either side of Congress. If it should make history and be approved by Congress, President Trump would ultimately need to sign it into law.
To learn more about ongoing legal efforts to legalize medical marijuana and similar applications around the country, you can contact Sacks Weston LLC. Our law firm has worked closely with the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) and is proud to be at the forefront Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. New clients can call our Philadelphia medical marijuana law firm at 215.764.3008.