March 21, 2017

H.R.715 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Compassionate Access Act

This bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to submit to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) a recommendation to transfer marijuana from schedule I to another controlled substances schedule. The DEA must consider the recommendation and issue a final rule to reclassify marijuana.

It permits, for reclassification purposes, consideration of scientifically sound research conducted in a state that allows medical marijuana and in accordance with state law, even if such research uses non-federally approved marijuana.

The legislation amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to:

  • exclude “cannabidiol” (CBD) from the definition of “marijuana” and remove it from coverage under the CSA;
  • limit the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in CBD to 0.3% on a dry weight basis; and
  • deem marijuana grown or processed to make CBD, in accordance with state law, to comply with the THC concentration limit unless the DEA determines state law to be unreasonable.

No provision of the CSA or Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits or restricts a physician from prescribing; a patient, caregiver, or guardian from obtaining, possessing, or transporting; an entity from producing, processing, manufacturing, or distributing; a pharmacy from dispensing; or a laboratory from testing medical marijuana or CBD in compliance with a state’s medical marijuana law.

The bill requires the Attorney General to delegate responsibility for registering marijuana researchers to an executive branch agency that supports research on substances’ medical value. Such agency must ensure adequate marijuana supply for medical research.

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