Starting a Marijuana Business in California: What Does the DEA’s Reclassification of CBDs Mean for Business?

In December 2016, those involved with the legal marijuana industry in the United States, and similarly those starting a marijuana businesses in California were shocked when decades-long efforts to have marijuana reclassified by the Drug Enforcement Administration came to a disappointing halt with the DEA’s announcement that they would classify marijuana extracts as a Schedule I drug, making them illegal.

This adds even more confusion to the already confused discourse about what is legal and what is not when it comes to federal and state legal issues; for example, which parts of the cannabis plant are deemed to be illicit, and where marijuana and marijuana extracts, including cannabidiol or CBDs, can be found and purchased.  These substances that have been classified as Schedule I are to include, according to the DEA, “an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.”

Dispensaries, and those looking to start a marijuana business in California, are involved in the sale of a wide variety of products that contain CBDs, and people see these products as necessary to their health and wellness. Unfortunately, the fact remains that science has not yet caught up to evaluating the various popular uses of marijuana extracts to substantiate these views. Some dispensaries sell CBD-containing ointments that can significantly aid in skin ailments and pain relief. Others place CBD in edible products, which can be extremely helpful to those who choose to administer their marijuana through ingestion to treat a wide variety of acute illnesses and their symptoms.  All of these cannabis preparations are now potentially in further legal jeopardy.

Recently, marijuana advocates within the business and those who are starting a marijuana business in California have stood behind the ways that CBDs can affect those who suffer from seizures or other serious diseases causing similar symptoms tremors. In addition, CBDs are also widely regarded as an anti-inflammatory, being instrumental in helping those live with inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few.  As might be imagined, those who own dispensaries, and those who are looking to start a marijuana business in California feel more than a slight discouragement with the DEA’s decision.

With marijuana continuing to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug according to the DEA, the additional classification of marijuana extracts as Schedule 1 drugs may signal that the legal marijuana industry and those looking into starting a marijuana business in California are still facing many challenges in legitimizing the industry, along with the marijuana plant and its extracts, both within and beyond state lines. Again, the industry is finding itself at odds with the lag in research into cannabidiol and their medicinal properties.

Why is science so far behind?

“Once again, the federal government has shown that it has not caught up with modern science,” says Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association in an interview with the publication Westword, “It’s common knowledge that CBD has numerous medical uses, including curbing the effects of epilepsy and reducing muscle inflammation from injuries. To deny that shows a complete disregard for the facts.”

With these new developments, CalCann remains a committed partner to those starting a marijuana business in California. CalCann embraces its role in advocating and educating within the state of California about the positive aspects of legalization of marijuana, and marijuana extracts, while helping those in the industry and starting a legal marijuana business find the best real estate spaces in which to conduct their business.

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