In June the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was approving a cannabis-derived medication for the first time ever. And now the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is following suit.
The DEA announced that for the first time in 46 years it's making a policy change regarding cannabis. The DEA said it will now reschedule cannabis-based medications if they are approved by the FDA. The policy was sort of forced on them, as when the FDA approved Epidiolex, a cannabis-based medication for seizures, the DEA needed to reschedule the drug in order to make it available for consumers.
However, the DEA did make a significant step by reclassifying Epidiolex as a Schedule V narcotic, which is the least strict of the controlled substances and indicates these drugs have a very low potential for abuse. In comparison, marijuana is a Schedule I narcotic indicating it has a high potential for abuse. The DEA said cannabis-based medicines approved by the FDA, as long as they don't contain THC, will be put into Schedule V status.
While this may not seem like a super important development, it actually is significant. The DEA has taken no steps to remove marijuana from its Schedule I status in the past 46 years, and now it's allowing a medication derived from cannabis to be available for purchase. That also indicates that they are acknowledging that cannabis can have medical benefits as well.
So while it may not actually help marijuana become legal, it does indicate a significant change in perspective from America's anti-drug agency.
(h/t Business Insider)