The status of using CBD for SD cancer patients

578184Recently I have had discussions with people who were under the impression that cannabidiol (CBD) has been legalized in South Dakota. That isn’t quite true. It is true that in 2017 the SD legislature passed a bill with a narrowly focused move forward towards legalization. But overall CBD oil is not truly legalized, especially not for cancer patients.

In 2017 the South Dakota legislature passed SB 95 and Governor Daugaard signed it into law. This bill as signed into law did a couple of important things:

  1. Section 1 of the bill made the following change to the definition of marijuana in SDCL 34-20B-1. The parts striken through are what the bill removed from the law. The parts underlined is what the bill added to the law.

    (12)    “Marijuana,” all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant or its seeds; but. The term does not include fiber produced from the mature stalks of such the plant, or oil or cake made from the seeds of such the plant, or the resin when extracted from any part of such the plant or cannabidiol, a drug product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration;

    This part of the bill removed cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana. This is important because it potentially dramatically decreases the penalty for those caught with CBD oil.

  2. Section 2 of the bill adds Cannabidiol to the list of Schedule 4 drugs for South Dakota. The law listing the Schedule drugs can be found in SDCL 34-20B-25. Originally the bill listed had it worded as “Cannabidiol, a drug product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.” This was amended during the committee process to remove the reference to the FDA. But, from what I understand any Schedule 4 drug in South Dakota already needs FDA approval and needs to be prescribed by a doctor. So adding Cannabidiol to the list of Schedule 4 drugs does not open up CBD for use in SD. It is only allowed for cannabidiol products specifically approved by the FDA.

To summarize the above sections, this bill does as passed into law does three important things:

  1. SB 95 removed CBD from the definition of marijuana.
  2. SB 95 added cannabidiol to the list of Schedule 4 drugs in South Dakota.
  3. Schedule 4 drugs have to be approved by the FDA, prescribed by a doctor, and the prescription filled by a licensed pharmacist. That means any CBD not fitting the preceding metrics are NOT legal in SD.

Right now it appears that Epidiolex, a CBD manufactured by GW Pharmacies and used to treat some forms of epilepsies, is the only CBD product approved by FDA. Actually during testimony of the drug GW Pharmacies tried to get the bill even narrower in scope to ensure their drug Epidiolex was definitely the only CBD drug that would be approved in SD.

The main thing to remember is that the claims made by CBD oil companies that cannabidiol products are completely legal in all 50 states are false. Some of those companies will still ship to you in SD, but it not legal for SD residents to use these products. Only CBD products specifically approved by the FDA, then prescribed by a doctor, and the prescription filled by a pharmacist is approved in SD. Currently that makes Epidolex the only product actually legal in SD. Hopefully this will change in the future because in my research there have been some cancer patients who responded positively to CBD.