Happy New Year - Still Talking About Marijuana
Jan 6, 2016

LEAD STORY

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced it recently eased some of the regulatory requirement imposed by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) for those conducting FDA-approved clinical trials on cannabidiol (CBD), an extract of the marijuana plant.

REMIND ME, WHAT'S CANNABIDIOL?

Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance because of the presence of tetrahydrocannabiol (THC), marijuana's psychoactive ingredient. CBD contains less than 1% THC but is still considered a Scheduled I controlled substance as defined under the CSA. However, CBD has shown potential medicinal value, and there is great interest in studying it for medical uses. DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator Joseph Rannazzisi testified at a Senate Caucus Hearing last year that the DEA supports research involving CBD and the potential capacity to treat multiple conditions.

EFFECT OF NEW REGULATION

The DEA regulates the handling of all controlled substances, including those being used by researchers to conduct FDA-approved studies. Essentially the regulatory easement eliminates a second DEA approval process for previously registered CBD-based clinical researcher, saving the researcher potential delays.

FLORIDA'S WORKERS' COMPENSATION

SUPREME COURT DENIAL

The Florida Supreme Court announced it denied review of the Padgett case (State of Florida v. Florida Workers' Advocates), which challenged the constitutionality of the state's workers' compensation system as the exclusive remedy for injured workers.

STILL THREE CASES

The Florida Supreme Court still has three other pending cases challenging the constitutionality of the workers' compensation system. Daniel Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital focuses on the 2003 reforms that eliminated permanent partial disability benefits. Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg challenges Florida's 104-week cap on temporary disability benefits. Castellanos v. Next Door Co. challenges the method for calculating attorney fees.

1ST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL

In another constitutional challenge, the Florida 1st District Court of Appeal rejected the constitutional challenge to Florida's statutory payment system for impairment income benefits.

NEXT?

Keep all eyes on Florida for when the Supreme Court rules on these challenges.

MAKING OUR WAY AROUND THE COUNTRY

OHIO

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed HB 237, which will regulate ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft throughout the state. The new law is effective March 1, 2016 and regulates minimum insurance coverage, the driver application process as well as background checks on drivers and the necessary permit. The new state law will override local city ordinances that have passed regulations. Next up,New York.

MASSACHUSETTS

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance confirmed premiums are rising 4% - 10% for Massachusetts homeowners and insurers state that is due to the losses from severe winter weather. Last winter's snowfall required insurers to pay more than $1 billion in claims in Massachusetts. For the eighth straight year, tornadoes and other severe thunderstorms likely caused at least $10 billion in property damage in 2015 in the U.S. The total estimated in insured losses in 2015 due to damaging weather is $15 billion.

IOWA

There's less than a month until the first votes are cast in Iowa for the 2016 Presidential election. Let thecommercials begin.

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