As part of President Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget plan which was released this week, the president has proposed to end an existing policy that protects state medical marijuana programs.
The rider has been renewed in appropriations legislation every year since 2014 and stipulates that the Justice Department can’t use its funds to prevent states or territories “from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
Trump had tried to omit the medical marijuana protections language in his last two budgets and even former President Obama asked for the policy to be removed.
Congress has ignored the requests and the rider had been renewed.
Separately, President Trump’s plan requests that funds be set aside to help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) invest “in priority activities,” including the “regulation of cannabis and cannabis derivatives.”
“FDA recognizes the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer, and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities,” the agency said in a summary. “FDA is aware that companies market products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in ways that violate the law and may put consumer health and safety at risk.”
“Questions remain regarding the safety of these compounds,” it continued. “FDA is committed to protecting the public health and improving regulatory pathways for the lawful marketing of cannabis and cannabis-derived products within the agency’s jurisdiction.”
“FDA is seeing a significant increase in activity relating to the marketing of unlawful cannabis-derived products, especially those containing cannabidiol (CBD), since the Farm Bill passed. In many cases, product developers make unproven claims to treat serious or life-threatening diseases, and patients may be misled to forgo otherwise effective, available therapy and opt instead for a product that has no proven value or may cause them serious harm.”