FDA Looks to Canada for Marijuana Regulation Advice

 In National News, Regulation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking interest in how to effectively regulate marijuana.

The agency is cohosting a conference later this month that will include a panel examining Canada’s system of legal medical cannabis, according to a notice published in the Federal Register on Thursday.

The session, led by Chris Rose, director of operations for Canadian government’s Office of Medical Cannabis, “will provide an overview of current regulatory framework for the regulation of marijuana for medical purposes in Canada and include information on the licensing process, compliance and enforcement and market statistics,” the conference’s website says.

The news comes in the wake of reports the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will soon to act on a marijuana rescheduling recommendation it received from FDA. It is not yet publicly known whether the health agency recommended a change in the drug’s classification or if it weighed in for keeping marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive category, which is supposed to be reserved for drugs with no medical value. DEA is expected to rule by the end of this month.

The fact that FDA is taking a close look at how the Canadian federal government legally regulates medical cannabis could be a sign that the Obama administration is preparing to announce a big change in policy soon. But it might also just be the agency doing its due diligence to begin preparing for changes that seem inevitable at some point in the near- to mid-term future.