CBD and Drug Policy

Nearly a year after the passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”), the industrial hemp and cannabidiol (“CBD”) markets are booming, yet ingestible products are still illegal according to the federal government. With mounting pressure on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to produce revised guidelines for the industries, many stakeholders and consumers have been caught within a complex web regarding the status of CBD.

Given CBD’s immense popularity, understanding the compound’s legal standing is imperative. The 2018 Farm Bill may have opened the door for hemp and CBD, however, it did not grant full legalization – as this Firm has been advising clients for months, and as recent FTC notices and FDA Warning Letters have confirmed. As the country awaits comprehensive FDA rules, many questions on the future of CBD go beyond its market potential. Concerns on CBD’s permitted forms, federal drug designations, and potential medicinal use loom large over the industry.

Given his knowledge on the subject (he was selected to speak about CBD at FDA in May of this year), RLG’s Founder and Managing Partner, Dave Rodman, set out to write an article for the general public outlining the unique status of CBD, but he ended up writing about much more.

“I quickly realized that it was impossible to tell CBD’s story without providing context. I couldn’t explain the status of CBD without discussing the history of Cannabis sativa L., the CSA and Schedule I.”[1] Mr. Rodman explained.

“Once I recognized that, it was very easy for me to pivot towards the broader story of Schedule I, its origins, the terrible toll it has on medical science, and the general irrationality of it all. Sensible drug policy has been a passion of mine for a long time, the problem soon became getting the article to an acceptable length… it started about five pages longer, and it could have easily been ten pages longer!”Dave Rodman, Founder & Managing Partner of The Rodman Law Group

Even with the cuts Mr. Rodman was concerned that finding a platform to publish it would be difficult,

“I was sure Westword was going to cut it way down due to its length. When I heard they were going to publish it word for word I was ecstatic. I am honored that Westword published the article. I think it means that people are starting to wake up! This is an important message.”

When asked what he hopes this article accomplished Dave said,

“I figured that the juxtaposition of CBD, a substance that everyone and their mother—in some cases their grandmothers too—is swearing by, with the general lunacy of Schedule I might help normalize the conversation around other Schedule I substances, or at least sow the seeds of doubt in peoples’ faith in the fear-based propaganda spewed by our governments. I want people to ask themselves, and their senators and congressional representatives, ‘What else are we missing out on here? What other medical miracles have been ignored or undiscoverable because of this stupid, stupid law?’”

You can read Mr. Rodman’s full article here.


[1] CSA stands for the Controlled Substances Act

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