Is the World Health Organization punting on Global CBD reform?

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Although the World Health Organization (WHO) was supposed to make a decision on rescheduling cannabis in the coming months, a report from Cannabis Wire indicates that might not happen at all this year. It is a situation that could not only jam up the course of international cannabis reform, but it is one that stands to sabotage the emergence of a global CBD market, the report reads.

Last month, the agency’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence was set to release a review of cannabis and its derivatives. There was hope that the assessment would lead all good things, especially for cannabidiol or CBD.

After all, WHO published a report in 2017 stating that “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… and is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” Many believed this meant the end of CBD as a Schedule I drug in the grips of international drug treaties.

But the assessment never came.

WHO said in December that it needed more time to mull over the details before it could reevaluate the outlaw classification of the cannabis plant. This news was concerning to marijuana advocates, especially considering that WHO is set to take a vote in this issue in March. Without a proper assessment, they feared the cannabis issue would be disregarded completely ahead of a final vote.

WHO representatives now say that vote may not take place at all.

“It is too early to foresee any possible development of this issue,” a WHO spokesperson told the news source.

Even if everything would sort of fall into place ahead of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs’ 62nd Session in Vienna, there is still a possibility that a vote on cannabis could experience further delays. Sources close to the UN believe a vote might not happen until 2020, even if the cannabis review is published before March.

As it stands, cannabis is still considered one of the most dangerous drugs in the world, according to international drug law. A recommendation to pull the cannabis plant out of this ranking would give national bound by prohibition an opportunity to legalize for recreational use without fear of repercussions. Considering that Canada and Uruguay have already made this move without any change to the law, we’re not sure it really matters. It would make it easier for the United States to come to terms on whether to take this reform nationwide, as well as open up the potential for more research. Eliminating CBD from the treaties completely would also open up a global trade for this non-intoxicating compound.

But we might have to wait another year to see how it all pans out.

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