Bill Exempts “Charlotte’s Web” Strain Under Controlled Substances Act

In a federal shift that could signal leniency in future national marijuana laws, the House of Representatives announced a bill that would exempt certain strains of marijuana for medical purposes. The bill stops short of legalizing the strains most users consume, but would exclude the “Charlotte’s Web” high-CBD strain from the overarching federal ban on medical marijuana. According to reports, the bill has bipartisan support and would exclude the therapeutic hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

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The House bill is groundbreaking and is a first step by the federal government in considering any acceptance of medical marijuana usage. In addition to the benefits offered to patients who use the strain, the bill could signal the loosening of other laws, including reform or wider applications of medicinal use. Our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of users, growers, and dispensary operators. We are committed to staying abreast of marijuana law in Southern California and nationwide to help our clients ensure compliance and avoid criminal liability.

The bill has been announced in the wake of 11 more states approving medical marijuana this year. For many legislators and supporters, the use of medical marijuana is critical for children with epilepsy and for other users who have not had success with other forms of treatment. The bill is known as the Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014. While some might recognize the title from the E.B. White children’s book, the bill was actually named after a Colorado patient named Charlotte who has been diagnosed with Dravet syndrome (characterized by seizures) and has been successfully treated using low-THC strains of marijuana.

Many patients of epilepsy and seizures are not responsible to conventional medicines. Low THC and high CBD strains of pot do not translate into the experience that many other pot smokers seek. Charlotte’s Web has the medical benefit of anti-inflammation and anti-convulsion therapeutic effects. The CBD is known to slow down electrical and chemical pulses through the brain which can lead to seizures. Advocates for marijuana worry that the legislation is only limited to specific strains and that there could be missed opportunities for THC in medicinal use. Some doctors opt for a combination of CBD and THC strains to yield better results.

Patients as well as distributors and drug companies stand to benefit from legalization if the bill passes. The FDA has already established a “fast track” for trials of a CBD-based drug used to treat epilepsy. Some companies have already gotten the federal “go-ahead” for a combination THC and CBD drug to target certain tumors. Legislators have recognized that the public wants access to certain strains and the federal government has even acknowledged that many strands can have significant medical benefits. Some say the bill has not gone far enough and should extend full legalization of the drug.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

More Blog Entries:

App Technology Highlights Future in Marijuana Business, July 9, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
Getting Started in the Medical Marijuana Industry, May 15, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog