CBD oil is still illegal to sell or possess in the United States without a prescription. The only legal form of Cannabidiol was approved by the FDA just a few months ago in the form of the prescription medication, Epidiolex. Because of this approval, the DEA changed the scheduling of this particular medication from I to V last month. All other forms of CBD are still considered Schedule I (the drugs considered the most dangerous by the DEA). This recent reclassification will allow pharmacists to fill prescriptions in house instead of sending patients to dispensaries. It’s the first step in allowing legal public use of CBD, but it’s still very restrictive.
Because only one drug has been approved by the FDA, the company producing it effectively holds a monopoly on legal CBD products sold in the U.S. This company, G.W. Pharmaceuticals of the U.K., is considered the frontrunner in the “development of plant-derived cannabinoid therapeutics.” Epidiolex will be used to treat epilepsy in patients 2 and up, and the prescription will cost around $32,500 per year according to the company. It is unclear if insurance companies will cover this cost at this time.
DEA spokesman, Rusty Payne, recently told NBC affiliate WTHR that it’s more important for federal agencies to concentrate on the opioid crisis more than CBD products. Whether this will be the attitude of Alabama law enforcement remains to be seen. In Tennessee, CBD dispensaries and shops are being operated, but there is still a question of legality without a prescription and shipping products across state lines. This could be an issue in Alabama (where all forms of Marijuana remain illegal) as well, even if local and state law enforcement decide to look the other way on CBD sales.