What if… the federal government made marijuana legal?

Dr. William Levine
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, CannRx

The federal government will inevitably develop a system to legalize cannabis. The industry is too large and affects too many people to remain solely as a state-based system. There are many different scenarios in which this may take place. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is promoting a hybrid system that combines the pharmaceutical, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and alcohol regulatory systems. The NCIA refers to this novel concept as “de-scheduling” and it creates a completely new concept track for cannabis. Clearly, the government is concerned about a number of factors; safety, efficacy, quality of the products as well as false marketing or unsupported claims to the consumer. One of the overriding issues that the cannabis industry is grappling with is that of isolated cannabinoids.

There is extensive data and many decades of ethnobotanical use of cannabis to provide a reasonable profile of safety. But if we increase the concentration or isolate single cannabinoids, we can no longer rely on that database to provide safety data. It is a simple concept; if you change the substance, both the pharmacologic effect and the toxicity profile can also change.

I believe that the federal government will use the existing agencies, FDA and FTC, to monitor cannabis, but will slightly modify the program to accommodate the existing industry.

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