A New Dawn Rises For CBD Oil
With the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of G.W. Pharmaceuticals’ CBD oil-based drug Epidiolex being deemed a “safe and effective” treatment option for certain forms of epilepsy, the DEA must now downgrade CBD on the Controlled Substances list.
According to a report in Business Insider, DEA public affairs representative Barbara Carreno recently claimed that the agency now has 90 days to drop CBD down to a Schedule II or III drug. And, according to Forbes, the change is already in progress as the action is now a prerequisite to the launch of Epidiolex.
The FDA recently approved Britain’s GW Pharmaceuticals' CBD oil-based drug — which is essentially pure cannabidiol — for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome — two severe and intractable forms of childhood epilepsy. However, the federal government still considers all derivatives of cannabis — whether marijuana or hemp — as a Schedule I drug along with cocaine and heroin.
CBD Oil On Track To Hit $2 Billion
According to a report on PotNetwork, although CBD was already on track to become a billion-dollar industry, analysts now predict that a “sea change” is coming to the CBD oil business. A recent report in the Hemp Business Journal estimated that U.S. hemp sales reached approximately $820 million in 2017, with the bulk of that coming from hemp-derived CBD oil. Out of seven sub-categories, hemp-derived CBD oil came in at number one with $190 million in sales in 2017 accounting for 23 percent of total hemp product sales in the U.S.
Experts at New Frontier Data estimate that the CBD oil industry will rise to $2 billion sometime early in the next decade. CBD oil products expect to account for nearly half of the market, according to Forbes. And a recent report by the Brightfield Group claims that hemp-derived CBD oil sales are expected to grow by 55 percent annually over the next five years with the bulk of CBD products being purchased online.
Also according to PotNetwork, CBD oil sales accounted for 16 percent of the growth in the overall hemp industry in 2017, “a staggering statistic considering that a market for the product barely existed five years ago,” said PotNetwork’s Brandon Dorfman.
The Legal Status of Hemp-Derived CBD Oil
The 2014 Farm Bill designated hemp as separate from marijuana, but the DEA disagreed with that designation taking the position that hemp and marijuana both come from the cannabis sativa plant and thus, both fall under the Controlled Substances Act. However, in a 2004 challenge by the Hemp Industries Association, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the DEA lacked the authority to place hemp under the Controlled Substances Act.
According to one industry insider interviewed on Forbes, that ruling means that CBD companies can sell CBD online “and distribute to customers in all 50 U.S. states."
As North Carolina Attorney and author of the popular blog Kight on Cannabis Rod Kight claims CBD oil from industrial hemp is included under a ruling from the Ninth Circuit that the Farm Act of 2014 supersedes the Controlled Substances Act. Kight asserts that any products derived from hemp that is cultivated as per a state’s pilot program, as stated in the Farm Act, is legal.
All this may be a moot point as PotNetwork reports that the U.S. Senate recently included language in the 2019 Farm Bill which supersedes the 2014 bill and legalizes hemp nationwide, placing the federal regulatory authority of hemp solely with USDA.
Because House Republican leaders previously blocked an attempt to include hemp legislation in their version of the Farm Bill, a bicameral conference committee must now decide whether to include the measure as it merges the bills into a single bill which will be sent to the President to sign.