Friends – I had the pleasure yesterday of watching the very excellent Cowen 2020 Cannabis Policy Summit (sorry, a link isn’t publicly available), which featured a number of panels on different aspects of cannabis (non-hemp and hemp-based CBD) regulation in the US. I’d like to share with you a couple of my own takeaways (though not to detract from the exceptional content itself):

  • It’s still really hard to predict the future of any federal cannabis legislation or regulation.
  • Not much has changed since the beginning of the year (and earlier) on the SAFE Act, the STATES Act, and the MORE Act, although there’s moderate optimism that aspects of the SAFE Act may make it into legislation later this year (but, Democrats may be less inclined to push for legislation this fall if they foresee a win in November).
  • The chances for descheduling/rescheduling really depend on who wins the White House in November and (probably more importantly) what party controls the Senate next year.
  • The Biden/Sanders task force’s recommendation (link) to reschedule (rather than deschedule) remains understandably divisive among industry participants, since moving “marihuana” to Schedule 2 doesn’t fix many of the problems caused by it being a controlled substance, but it’s appreciated that this is merely a policy document at this point.
  • Don’t expect the FDA to put forth rules on hemp-derived CBD in food/beverages/dietary supplements any time soon, and, short of a successful industry campaign, don’t expect Congress to push the FDA to accelerate that timeline.

In the meantime, the industry beats on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly by, well, just about everything (with apologies to FSF).