BY RANDY ROBINSON | NEWS | APR 8, 2020 The only FDA-approved medication made from cannabis will now be much easier for patients to access.
Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical drug made from cannabis, was removed from the federal Controlled Substances Act this week, though doctors will still need to prescribe it to patients.
On Monday, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informed Greenwich Biosciences and its parent GW Pharmaceuticals, the company that designed and manufactures Epidiolex, that the CBD drug would no longer be listed as a controlled substance. That means any licensed medical professional, from nurses to physician’s assistants to physicians themselves, can prescribe the medication without being enrolled in the DEA’s drug-monitoring program. However, patients will still not be able to purchase the drug over-the-counter.
“This decision is a lightning bolt of sanity,” Martin A. Lee, director of the cannabis information website Project CBD, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “De-scheduling the drug will allow it to be prescribed off-label.”