European Commission Proposes a Vote on Cannabis Scheduling

Politics News - EU and WHO

Ahead of the March session of the CND (the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs), the EC has proposed that EU member-states vote in favor of three (out of the six) cannabis scheduling recommendations made by the WHO.

If the EC’s proposal is accepted by the Council of Europe, then the WHO recommendations in question will have a higher chance of getting adopted by the CND in Vienna in March.

In January of last year, WHO proposed six scheduling recommendations on cannabis and various categories of cannabis products.

One of the proposed changes involves removing cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention, which would recognize the medical properties of the plant across Europe.

At the moment, cannabis and cannabis resin are listed in both Schedule I and Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. In other words, they are considered substances without medical properties (or very few of them) that require the strictest level of control.

Removing cannabis from Schedule IV would not lessen the control measures surrounding this substance as it would still be included as a Schedule I drug. The result of this move would be to recognize the therapeutic and medicinal effects of cannabis, as well as analyze any potential dangers and side-effects. 

Another WHO recommendation that the EC supports is adding dronabinol (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and tetrahydrocannabinol (isomers of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) to Schedule I of the 1961 convention and eliminating them from the 1971 convention to ease the application of control measures for these substances by individual EU member-states.

The EC stated that they need further consideration regarding the removal of extracts and tinctures from Schedule I of the 1961 Convention as it is uncertain how much THC these products contain. The Commission is also unclear on the exact implications regarding products that contain mostly CBD and less than 0.2% THC (these products are not under international control).

While meaningful, as an EU block vote constitutes a quarter of total votes at the March session of the CND, experts believe this calls for much celebration by the European cannabis industry.

Meanwhile, ICBC founder, Alex Rogers, sees great potential in the development of the European cannabis market. He recently stated that he believed that the European market might even get bigger than the US weed industry.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

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