New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill legalizing the use of medical marijuana. The effort is part of a wave of state interest in allowing medical use of the highly controlled substance, while Colorado and Washington have opened up to recreational use of marijuana.
CQ Roll Call’s Melissa Attias examined the impact of the state decisions on the dual food and drug supervision role of the Food and Drug Administration. Any product containing marijuana that is intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease is legally classified as a drug and is subject to FDA regulations.
Industry experts are skeptical that the agency will relax the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which makes marijuana a difficult product to obtain, even for research. However, observers question how the agency will open up the regulatory process for marijuana’s classification as a food ingredient.