The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) met again on Thursday ahead of the December vote on cannabis.
The Thursday meeting held in Vienna, Austria, continues the global debate over whether cannabis and cannabis resins should be rescheduled. The EU delegate to the 63rd intersessional meeting did not voice the body’s position on the vote, but he reiterated that the EU member states are comfortable voting in December.
Cannabis and its derivatives are classified as Schedule IV drugs in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs and the 1971 Psychotropic Substances Convention. The Thursday meeting’s proceedings attracted close observation for hints on the vote’s direction, which may mark a new age for cannabis and related substances.
While International drug control treaties do not necessarily list cannabidiol (CBD), the 1961 convention covers it as a preparation and a product of cannabis.
However, as part of the World Health Organization recommendations, cannabidiol is expected to play a key role in the votes. The suggested changes on cannabidiol state that preparations containing “predominantly” CBD and no more than 0.2% THC should not be under International control.
In 2019, the WHO initiated global debates over the medicinal potential of cannabis and its derivatives, arguing that pure CBD does not warrant regulation. The organization made recommendations to reschedule cannabis in a way that is considered medicinal.
According to the US delegate to the Vienna session, the newfound benefits of cannabis that don’t seem present in other substances warrants its removal from the Schedule IV category.
The EU delegate also agrees that as much as the body is committed to preserving the international scheduling system, it is also supportive of scientific advances. The delegate added that the time has come for the EU and its member states to vote on WHO’s recommendations finally.