PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Parents and companies here in Utah are worried after hearing about a recent move by the Drug Enforcement Administration to make changes to the listing of cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD. The agency insists the move will actually help streamline research into it's medical benefits.
Paul Loveless is the father of a 22 year old who uses CBD to help prevent seizures. Over the last two years he said his daughters seizures have gone down by 95 percent.
Loveless said he wants to follow the law, but worries any changes could impact his families access to CBD oils. He disagrees with them being listed as a schedule one drug alongside heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. That listing also means it has no medical value.
"I recognize they have a very difficult job to do, but I disagree with that decision," said Loveless. "There is a genuine medical need for many different people out there."
The DEA insists their federal notice from mid December was meant to split the drug into two categories. One for the plant and the other for extracts from the plant.
Agency spokesperson Ross Baer notes they have always listed the extracts like CBD as a schedule one drug because it comes from the marijuana plant, or hemp. By giving it a separate category and listing number they insist it will help separate the drug for research trials.
"It allows us to draw distinctions between the marijuana plant in general to highlight and streamline the process more efficiently the applications for scientific research"
Baer said Congress can change the scheduling of a drug. The DEA would need research several studies and FDA approval to do so.
According to Baer their agency can't enforce federal laws in states where medical marijuana has been legalized. As long as those businesses and dispensaries are following their state's regulations.
Baer also points to more than 400 studies approved by the DEA on medical marijuana. He notes even the agency head has talk about reschduling marijuana if research shows it has a medical benefit.
Which means consumers and sellers of CBD here in Utah should be safe.
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