The Medical Board of California has one cannabis-related item on the agenda of today’s meeting —a rundown of relevant legislation will inform members that the state Health & Safety Code will be revised as soon as the DEA reschedules CBD. Epidiolex —purified CBD manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals— has been granted FDA approval as a treatment for two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Rescheduling by DEA is expected by September 24 (90 days following FDA approval).
Every state has its own Controlled Substances Act. (Most but not all are word-for-word copies of the federal CSA.) Even if the federal government reschedules CBD, state CSAs have to be formally revised before Epidiloex can be marketed. GW, foreseeing that some legislatures might not be in session when the Epidiolex approval came through, developed a model bill enabling states to automatically reschedule Epidiolex if and when the feds did so. Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) introduced the measure in California.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
The Legislature finds and declares that both children and adults with epilepsy are in desperate need of new treatment options and that cannabidiol is showing potential as one of these treatments. If federal laws prohibiting the prescription of medications composed of cannabidiol are repealed or if an exception from the general prohibition is enacted permitting the prescription of drugs composed of cannabidiol, patients should have rapid access to this treatment option. The availability of this new prescription medication is intended to augment, not to restrict or otherwise amend, other cannabinoid treatment modalities currently available under state law.
Section 11150.2 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
(a) Notwithstanding any other law, if cannabidiol is removed excluded from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act and placed on a schedule of the act other than Schedule I, or if a product composed of cannabidiol is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and either placed on a schedule of the act other than Schedule I, or exempted from one or more provisions of the act, so as to permit a physician, pharmacist, or other authorized healing arts licensee acting within his or her scope of practice, to prescribe, furnish, or dispense that product, the physician, pharmacist, or other authorized healing arts licensee who prescribes, furnishes, or dispenses that product in accordance with federal law shall be deemed to be in compliance with state law governing those acts.
This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect.