Don’t be surprised if you see the feds move on marijuana legalization in the coming years. According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb, federal action on marijuana is inevitable and will happen “soon.”
Gottlieb made the following statement in a recent CNBC appearance, though the FDA commissioner also denied that cannabis has any therapeutic value. Still, he believes there’s “probably going to be a policy reckoning around this at some point in the future.”
“Obviously it’s happening at the state level, and I think there’s an inevitably that it’s going to happen at the federal level at some point soon,” Gottlieb said.
The commissioner was careful not to make any clear assertions about legalization in his appearance. Gottlieb fell behind his agency, stating that it wasn’t within FDA’s responsibilities. Instead, his job was to ensure no companies were producing wild and untrue claims about cannabis products.
“We do regulate compounds that are making drug claims and we regulate botanical use of marijuana,” the commissioner said in the TV interview. “We have approved compounds derived from marijuana, but there is no demonstrated medical use of botanical marijuana. That’s the bottom line.”
That last line might strike intelligible viewers as an odd statement coming from the FDA. That’s because earlier this year, the federal agency approved Epidiolex, the first medication derived specifically from the cannabis plant to receive FDA approval. So does cannabis have medical value according to the FDA or not? We’ll just have to wait for the inevitable conclusion to this saga, it seems.