(This is a break story that can be updated as it develops.)

Member States of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) have received the recommendations on cannabis from the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Addiction, expected in December, the daily Marijuana Business Daily reported.

The CND was expected to consider reprogramming cannabis in March 2019 at its annual meeting, but the delay in receiving ECD recommendations could push this review forward by 2020 to allow more time for Member States to deal with cannabis. examine.

The report recommends several changes to cannabis planning, which could have significant consequences for the cannabis industry:

  • The inclusion of cannabis in the international drug control conventions would not be as restrictive as it is today, since it would be removed from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention, a category reserved for the most dangerous substances.
  • THC in all its forms would be removed from the 1971 Convention and placed with cannabis in Schedule I of the 1961 Convention, greatly simplifying the classification of cannabis.
  • Preparations of pure CBD and CBD containing not more than 0.2% THC would not be included in the international drug control conventions.
  • Pharmaceutical preparations containing delta-9-THC, if they meet certain criteria, would be added to Annex III of the 1961 Convention, recognizing the improbability of the abuses.

MJBizDaily has obtained and reviewed a copy of the recommendations – which have not yet been made public – on how to program different categories of cannabis and substances related to cannabis. These changes include:

Cannabis and cannabis resin

The report recommends that cannabis and cannabis resin "be deleted from Annex IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961)".

Table IV of the 1961 Convention, the most restrictive category, includes hazardous substances of extremely limited or no medical value.

If this recommendation is followed, cannabis and cannabis resin would remain in Annex I instead.

In justifying the change, the ECD noted:

"The evidence before the Committee does not indicate that cannabis and cannabis resin are particularly likely to produce adverse effects similar to those of other substances in Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961. In addition, cannabis preparations have shown therapeutic potential for the treatment of pain and other medical conditions such as epilepsy and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. In accordance with the above, cannabis and cannabis resin should be programmed to a level of control that will prevent damage from cannabis use and, at the same time, not a barrier to cannabis use. Access to research and development of cannabis-related preparations. medical use. "

Dronabinol (delta-9-THC) and tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC isomers)

The report recommends that dronabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC and its isomers) be "deleted from Annex II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971) and added to Annex I of the Single Convention on narcotics (1961) ".

These recommendations would simplify programming by bringing together all forms of THC in the same category as cannabis and cannabis resin.

The dangers associated with THC are similar to those of cannabis and cannabis resin, so it would make sense to group them all in the same category, the report noted.

The report compares the reclassification of cocaine in the same category as coca leaf and morphine in the same category as opium.

In the case of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol isomers, the move would also simplify and bring consistency.

"Due to the chemical similarity of each of the six isomers with delta-9-THC, it is very difficult to differentiate any of these six isomers of delta-9-THC using assay methods. chemical standard, "says the report.

Extracts and tinctures of cannabis

The report recommends that extracts and tinctures of cannabis be "deleted from Annex I of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961)".

The Committee recommended deleting this category from the 1961 Convention, as extracts and tinctures include "various delta-9 THC variable concentration preparations", some of which are non-psychoactive and have "promising therapeutic applications".

Cannabidiol preparations

The ECD had already finalized the critical review of pure CBD, recommending that it not be included in the drug control conventions.

Doubts remained about CBD preparations containing THC. The report clarified its position regarding:

"The Committee recommended adding a footnote to Table I of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which reads as follows:" Preparations containing mainly cannabidiol and not more than 0.2% delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol are not under international control.

The committee also noted:

"Cannabidiol is present in cannabis and cannabis resin but has no psychoactive properties and no risk of abuse or addictive potential. It does not have significant adverse effects. Cannabidiol has been shown to be effective in treating some treatment-resistant epilepsy disorders in childhood. It has been approved for this use in the United States in 2018 and is currently under review for approval by the EU. "

Pharmaceutical preparations of cannabis and dronabinol

The Committee notes that there are currently two main types of drugs containing delta-9-THC:

  • Preparations containing both delta-9-THC and CBD, such as Sativex.
  • Preparations containing only delta-9-THC as an active compound, such as Marinol or Syndros.

Because "the evidence regarding the use of these drugs containing delta-9-THC is that they are not associated with abuse and addiction problems and that they are not not diverted for non-medical purposes ", and" in order not to impede access to these drugs ", the Committee recommended not to include these drugs in the restrictive categories of Schedule I of 1961 or Schedule II of the 1971 Convention.

Instead, the less restrictive list III of the 1961 Convention was recommended:

"The Committee recommended that preparations containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (dronabinol), produced either by chemical synthesis or in the form of a cannabis preparation, be combined as pharmaceutical preparations with one or more other ingredients and as such. delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (dronabinol) can not be recovered by readily available means or with a return that would constitute a risk to public health, be added to Annex III of the 1961 Convention on drugs. "

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