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Head Of US FDA Says ‘No Reason’ DEA Should Delay Cannabis Rescheduling

The head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Robert Califf, told elected officials this week that he believes there is ‘no reason for the DEA to delay’ making its decision on cannabis rescheduling.

During an hours-long hearing of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on Thursday, Califf was questioned on a range of topics relating to cannabis regulation, Marijuana Moment reported.

After being asked about the prospective timeline of cannabis rescheduling, which is currently being considered by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) following a recommendation by the FDA to move it to a Schedule III substance, Califf said this would be a ‘up to the DEA’.

However, he added: “There’s no reason for the DEA to delay. They have to take into account all the regulations that are in play.”

He continued that it would ‘be nice if in my lifetime, we came up with a regulatory scheme’ for cannabis.

“This is an area where I believe we would be better off if we had guidance from Congress about how to proceed,” Califf said.

“Medical marijuana is one thing where there’s a medical purpose and it’s proven through traditional medical pathways, but when it’s used for recreational purposes, there is no medical benefit in that case, it doesn’t fall under our typical regulation.”

The hearing also covered the ongoing issues surrounding the regulation of hemp-derived intoxicating substances like Delta-8 THC.

Califf was criticized by the committee chairman James Comer, who accused the FDA of refusing to regulate hemp products like CBD unless it received additional authorization from Congress, stating that this meant ‘good players are penalized because of the things bad players do’.

“The FDA’s refusal to regulate hemp products is creating significant confusion in the market and resulting in products with intoxicants that can be dangerous to Americans who use these products. It has also halted businesses trying in good faith to enter the market while bad actors continue to thrive,” Comer said.

In response, Califf said: “It’s Congress’s decision to make, so we would really look forward to working with you all as quickly as possible to come up with a regulatory pathway that you think is reasonable and enables us to take action.”


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