US: Federal agencies discuss cannabis research barriers, state legalization models and CBD regulations

Representatives of multiple federal agencies participated in a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) meeting on Friday for a wide-ranging discussion about cannabis policy, with experts sharing their perspectives on issues such as cannabis research barriers under prohibition, efforts to create a regulated pathway for CBD, state initiatives to promote social equity and more.

At the NASEM Committee on Public Health Consequences of Changes in the Cannabis Policy Landscape meeting, agencies made a series of presentations to share the policy areas that they’re prioritizing, as well as ongoing questions that they’re working to answer about the impacts of legalization and the use of cannabis.

Agencies that participated in the virtual and in-person event were the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

One emerging theme is how scientists who want to research cannabis face significant challenges due to its Schedule I status under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Brooke Hoots, a cannabis advisor at CDC, noted that “many of the questions on the health effects of cannabis use” that were raised as part of a collaborative report from the academies in 2017 “still remain unanswered” because of the complex requirements imposed on scientists interested in studying Schedule I substances like cannabis.


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