On Dec 14th the DEA announced a new drug code for “Marijuana Extract” and there has been a lot of furor over the decision. For those that have read the CSA and understand the meaning of the definition of “Marijuana” it already meant:
The term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.
Prior to this announcement everything other than THC, which already has it’s own drug code, all other Cannabinoids were classified under the Marijuana Code. What this does is separate out for purposes of clerical and data collection a difference between raw Cannabis plant material and Extractions made from the plant.
NOTHING has changed, no substance scheduling has changed, no laws have been changed.
So what does it really mean? What it really means is that now the extracts that researchers have been getting from the Mississippi Farm now have a separate code. This allows the DEA, FDA, HHS, NIDA to track what kind of research is being done. Is it whole plant or an extract that is being used.
Frankly it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put each cannabinoid it’s own drug code. This could do two things. First it would track what research is being done with what cannabinoids. It could also lead to many more cannabinoids being put into different schedules like THC is in a different schedule. One by one move the cannabinoids to other schedules and you less reason to keep the whole plant scheduled in schedule I