A South Dakota House committee has amended a controversial cannabidiol (CBD) bill to exclude language that would have given the pharmaceutical company GW Pharma a temporary de facto monopoly of the state’s CBD market.
Senate Bill 95 passed the South Dakota Senate last month. It gained notoriety as one of two bills backed by GW Pharma and its American subsidiary, Greenwich BioSciences, that would move CBD to Schedule IV on state drug regimes—but only CBD in a form that’s received FDA approval. GW/Greenwich’s drug Epidiolex, which treats intractable epilepsy, is expected to received FDA approval as soon as this summer. There is no other FDA-approved CBD drug on the market.
Leafly News broke the story of the GW/Greenwich bills last month. A GW spokesperson has stated that the company is not attempting to create a monopoly; it just wants patients to be able to access Epidiolex if and when the drug receives FDA clearance.
GW/Greenwich officials have been lobbying South Dakota legislators this past week, as have a number of medical cannabis patients and patient advocates. George Hendrickson, an outspoken advocate whose young son struggles with Dravet syndrome, spoke in favor of amending the bill, as did Teri Robnett, a medical marijuana patient and advocate from Colorado, and Melissa Mentele, chairperson of New Approach South Dakota.
Cannabis Patients Alliance has shown up time and time again to advocate for medical marijuana patients. Now it’s time for you to show up for CPA and support our continued work. Please donate generously.