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In Congress: Virginia Republican Wants to De-Schedule CBD

Published on February 2, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020
FILE- In this Feb. 25, 2010 file photo, Del. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, listens to a fellow delegate during the House session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. In January, when Congressman-elect Morgan Griffith joins the huge Republican freshman class that ended four years of Democratic rule in the U.S. House, Capitol Hill will take on an earnest, quirky small-town lawyer who is a wonkish fanatic about parliamentary protocol and who laughs off his own nerdiness. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Republican lawmakers in Congress are starting to come out of the woodwork and draft up new bills on cannabis. Last Friday, while most of the nation was focused on President Trump’s controversial immigration order, Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia) quietly introduced two new bills on cannabis reform—including one that would de-schedule CBD entirely.

The bills are H.R. 714, “Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act” or the “LUMMA,” and H.R. 715, the “Compassionate Access Act.” The full text of the bills is embedded below.

LUMMA’s main point is to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II. Moving cannabis to Schedule II would redefine cannabis as a drug with a “high potential for abuse” but with an accepted medical use.

Rescheduling would give scientists easier access to cannabis for research purposes.

The bill would also put in place a mechanism for physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. Currently medical practitioners may only recommend cannabis, not prescribe it. Under the Controlled Substances Act, Schedule I drugs may not be prescribed.

H.R. 715, the “Compassionate Access Act,” also sets up the process in which to reschedule cannabis, having several agencies give their recommendation to reschedule. It also completely de-schedules cannabidiol, or CBD.

The bill calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, to submit a recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Agency to transfer cannabis from Schedule I to a lower schedule.

H.R. 715 calls for CBD to be excluded from the definition of “marihuana,” and states that CBD “shall not be treated as a controlled substance under this Act.”

CBD is defined in the bill as, “derived from marihuana or synthetically formulated, that contains not greater than 0.3 percent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis.”

This isn’t the first time the Virginia conservative has introduced a cannabis bill.

In 2014, Griffith introduced a very similar bill, the “Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act.” In 2015, Griffith and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) introduced a similar bill, the “Compassionate Access Act.”

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“There are countless reports of marijuana’s medicinal benefits in treating conditions including cancer, epilepsy, and glaucoma,” Griffith said in 2015. “It is time to research this further, and, where legal, to allow real doctors and real pharmacists to prescribe or dispense marijuana for legitimate medical reasons for real patients.”

HR 714: “Legitimate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (LUMMA)” by Ben Adlin on Scribd

HR 715: “Compassionate Access Act” by Ben Adlin on Scribd

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Gage Peake
Gage Peake
Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
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