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WIRE: DEA to classify liquid, synthetic THC as Schedule II drug

Washington, DC — Officials from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have recommended that Syndros, a liquid form of synthetic THC, be classified as a Schedule II controlled substance under federal law. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials determined last year that the drug formulation is safe and effective for use by patients with cancer and AIDS.

Two other synthetic forms of THC, dronabinol and nabilone, are also FDA approved. Dronabinol (aka Marinol) is a Schedule III drug while nabilone (aka Cesamet) is Schedule II.

Syndros is the first synthetic cannabinoid in liquid form to be approved by the FDA for use by prescription.

The makers of Syndros, Insys Therapeutics, donated $500,000 last year to a political campaign to defeat Arizona’s Proposition 205, a statewide ballot initiative to regulate the adult use, cultivation, and sale of cannabis. The measure ultimately failed at the ballot box by a vote of 48 percent to 52 percent.

The company is also seeking to bring a synthetic version of cannabidiol to market.

Insys Therapeutics markets the drug SUBSYS, a spray containing the potent opioid fentanyl. Several recent studies have identified an association between state laws regulating medical cannabis access and declining rates of opioid use, abuse, hospitalizations, and mortality.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at (202) 483-5500.

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