Recently, the FDA announced the first FDA-approved medicine that contains purified natural compounds derived from cannabis. This drug, Epidiolex, is proven to reduce seizures for small children over the age of two with rare forms of epilepsy. At the center of this announcement lies a contradiction between federal categorization of cannabis as a Schedule I Drug with no medicinal value and a federal agency approving a medicine derived from compounds in the plant. Until the cannabis compound used in Epidiolex, cannabidiol (CBD), is rescheduled by the Drug Enforcement Agency, it will be unavailable to patients. Lack of federal rescheduling hinders scientific research of the cannabis plant and stops beneficial medicines from being available to patients with pain in states where marijuana is illegal.
Julie Raque, Director of Marketing for Cannabistry Labs, a professional cannabis research, development, and branding company, has a background in both the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Her ten years of marketing experience in big pharma gives her a unique perspective on the challenges in bringing new drugs to market. She spoke to CannEpoch about the difference between bringing cannabis products to market versus traditional pharmaceuticals, the recent FDA announcement and what that means for the cannabis industry as a whole as well as what it means for the future of the traditional pharmaceutical space.
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