Conclusions of the United Nations Conference on CBD

The first conference on CBD was held from June 24 to 25. According to the analysis of INCB, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board concluded that: first, most of who’s proposals for cannabis control have little impact on international drug control; second, in a practical sense, who’s proposals have intensified the requirements for cannabis control. Therefore, the United Nations has expressed neither opposition nor approval of the WHO proposal.

The classification of CBD and other hemp extracts in the 1961 Convention may have a profound impact on the commercialization process of related industries. The Single Convention on narcotic drugs of 1961 classifies CBD as marijuana, which has been controlled as narcotics, which results in the limited application of CBD. Amendments to the 1961 Convention need to be approved by more than half of the member states. Since the active medical treatment of CBD has been confirmed, after analyzing the efficacy and risk of CBD, who (who) proposed to remove pure CBD preparations from the narcotics list. The six recommendations put forward by who are as follows:

Recommendation 5.1, cannabis and cannabis lipids: the committee recommends that they be deleted from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention on narcotic drugs;

Recommendation 5.2, dronabinol (or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ 9-THC): 5.2.1) add it and its stereoisomers to schedule I of the 1961 Convention; 5.2.2) delete it from the 1971 Convention on psychotropic substances, provided that 5.2.1 is adopted;

Recommendation 5.3, tetrahydrocannabinol (or tetrahydrocannabinol, isomer of Δ 9-THC): 5.3.1) proposed to add tetrahydrocannabinol in the 1971 convention to schedule I of the 1961 Convention; 5.3.2) proposed to delete it in the 1971 convention, provided that 5.3.1 was adopted;

Recommendation 5.4, extracts (including CBD) and tinctures of cannabis: it is recommended to delete them from schedule I of the 1961 Convention;

Recommendation 5.5, cannabis preparations: it is proposed to add a footnote to schedule I of the 1961 Convention on narcotic drugs: CBD as the main component and Δ 9-THC not more than 0.2% are not under international control;

Recommendation 5.6, pharmaceutical preparations of cannabis and dronabinol: the committee recommends that preparations containing Δ 9-THC, either chemically synthesized or produced as preparations, be mixed with one or more other ingredients in the form of pharmaceutical preparations so that preparations containing Δ 9-THC cannot be recovered or pose a threat to public health by readily available means and should be added to schedule III of the 1961 Convention.

At this meeting, in response to recommendation 5.1, INCB believed that the control measures at the international level would not change. If some suggestions were adopted, the applicable control requirements would be standardized, making it easier for national authorities to detect and report information to the monitoring department.

In response to recommendations 5.2 and 5.3, INCB believes that such proposed adjustments will lead to the derivation of many other control measures, increase the difficulty of fine control of cannabis, and may cause unnecessary burden to some member states.

In response to recommendation 5.4, INCB believes that this recommendation can be regarded as a correction of the existence of duplicate information on cannabis extract and tincture in schedule I, and if adopted, it will not have a meaningful practical impact on control.

In response to recommendation 5.5, the adoption of recommendation 5.5 (for cannabinol CBD) would require national legislation to distinguish THC and / or cannabinol CBD for extractive and industrial use, in accordance with the 1961 Convention; (INCB only considers hemp fiber and seeds as “industrial use.”) INCB also noted some current contradictions, such as the fact that some countries did not report to the organization the cultivation of THC with low tetrahydrocannabinol and the production of CBD products with cannabis bisphenol, because there was no clear policy on CBD.

In response to recommendation 5.6, if CND adopts this recommendation, the board states that “the need for certain control measures, such as those applicable to international trade in those preparations, will be eliminated.” It was highlighted that some of the recommendations (e.g. 5.6) must ensure consensus and accurate definition among Member States.

At present, the preparatory meeting of CND member states in December 2020 has been put on the agenda! At the 62nd session of CND in 2019, the attitudes of different countries are quite different, which eventually leads to the postponement of who proposal. In May 2020, according to CND documents, a new round of voting will be held at the 63rd session of CND in December. In order to prepare for voting on the classification of CBD related substances in the 1961 Convention in December this year, CND suggested that its member states should participate in three closed door “special” meetings and one “interim” meeting before voting in December. This is the first special meeting.

Regarding the results of the meeting, INCB said that this is a significant symbolic victory and a positive step towards relaxing international control of cannabis. The cannabis industry will usher in good development, and in a sense, it implies that the medical value of hemp is fully recognized at the highest international level.

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