CBD Oil Under Consideration in Utah and Alabama
The non-psychoactive cannabis component Cannabidiol, or CBD- and its efficacy in the treatment of severe forms of childhood-onset epilepsy continues to drive legislative and regulatory actions throughout the U.S.
Bills to provide high-CBD oil to children suffering from severe epilepsy passed by a wide margin in the State senate of Utah and passed unanimously in the Alabama state senate.
The bill passed in the Utah Senate was slightly revised from the bill passed last week in the Utah house, so it now goes back to the house for re-approval before going to the Utah governor for final approval.
The Alabama bill passed by the senate would provide the oil through a $1 million appropriation for a research study by University of Alabama’s Neurology Department. The bill now goes to the Alabama House for consideration.
According to a sequel documentary premiering on CNN this Tuesday called Weed 2: Cannabis Madness, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports that at least 100 families with sick children have become medical marijuana refugees in Colorado since learning about high CBD cannabis in Gupta’s first documentary, Weed. This second installment begins to answer the question of why cannabis medicine is better than pharmaceutical medicines used for the treatment of epilepsy.
UK-Produced Cannabis Spray Gains FDA Approval
Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the NYU comprehensive Epilepsy Center, is also one of seven U.S. doctors approved to use a cannabis-based medicinal spray called Epidiolex. The spray gained approval in November for the Federal Drug Administrations orphan drug program for the treatment of Dravet Syndrome. The makers of Epidiolex, UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals, announced this week that the orphan drug status of Epidiolex has now been expanded to study another rare form of childhood onset epilepsy called Lennox Gestaut syndrome.
In a press release this week, GW’s CEO Justin Gover stated the pharmaceutical company is in active discussions with the FDA regarding the U.S. regulatory pathway for Epidiolex to make the drug available for U.S. children suffering from both Dravets Syndrome and Lennox Gestaut Syndrome.
In other epilepsy news this week, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia released a scientific review called Cannabis in the Management and Treatment of Seizures and Epilepsy, which is a portion of their soon-to-be-completed Cannabis Therapeutic Compendium — a companion toAHP’s Cannabis Quality Control Monograph, which was released in December 2013.
U.S. Attorney General Addresses Drug-Related Sentencing
Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the U.S. Sentencing Commission to express his support of a plan to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for many drug related offenses. Holder says the plan could reduce the federal prison population by over 6,500 inmates in five years.
California Democrats Back Cannabis and Other State News
The California Democratic party now officially backs cannabis legalization. On a voice vote at their recent convention, delegates approved the platform language calling for the party to support “the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana, in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol.”
The democratic platform change comes a week after Governor Jerry Brown made remarks on national television opposing legalization.
- On Monday, the city attorney of Los Angeles announced that 100 dispensaries have closed since the city started enforcing new rules restricting them.
- The same day that four LA dispensaries were raided by the LAPD and the DEA, Los Angeles reported it had collected $1.6 million in taxes from dispensaries for 2013.
- The San Diego city council gave final approval to medical marijuana regulations. Requiring dispensary operators to apply for conditional-use permits good for 5 years as well as an annual public safety permit from the San Diego Police Department.
- In the CA legislature this week, a bill that would have increased restrictions on dispensary locations statewide died in committee. The bill was authored by Assembly minority leader Connie Conway, a republican for Tulare County.
- And in Oregon, the senate gave final approve to a statewide dispensary regulation bill. The final version of the bill gives local governments the ability to ban dispensaries, but only for one year. The bill now goes to Oregon’s democratic Governor John Kitzhaber, who has not said whether he will sign it.
- In Washington State, the state Senate approved a bill regulating dispensaries as part of an effort to roll the medical marijuana system into the state’s new legal marijuana system. The current unregulated dispensaries would have to close or obtain a state license by September 2015. The bill also allows patients to grow their own, but reduced the amount they can grow and possess. The bill now goes to the House.