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Cannabis Devt Aqthority body proposed

By lUlaricel V. Cruz

A LAIVMAKER has proposed the establishment of a state

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agency that will oversee the development of what could be

I'a legitimate m-ultibillion-dollar export industry producing

medical cannabis from the strain of this plant that is not addictive and does not produce the so-calle dbtn or "high" for users.

Dept+fy rbpeaker and Camarines Str

Rep l-rufu R$ymund Villafuerte said his

drugs and narco-trafficking.

"Ottlercounfries withzerotolerancefor

proposal "should not be deemed in any dnrg tafficking like China and Singapore nrqqer -tq,advocate, promote, authorize. are either alrcady producing medical can-

legaljze the. 'recreationaln . and/or non- nabis or considering the tegalization of the

ng{ignl. use of the cannabis plants," as dnrg for medicinal purposesn" Villafuerte

re,.qgiferated his full sgpport for President said as he filed House Bill 3961.

R$ip,,I)uterte's all,out

war on illicit

Once enacted, Villafuerte said his bitl

'll'

!1; vi

is expected to benefit not only ailing Fili-

need of the revolutionary treat-

pinos if

ment offered by the drug but also the gov- ernment in terms of export revenues that

can be tapped from its potential $57-bil-

lion market.

"Medical cannabis is now legal and used for health, scientific and research reasons in

60 countries across the globe," he said.

IIB 3961, Villafuerte made it clear that medical cannabis refers to cannabidiol or CBD, the non-addictive, non:intoxicating sfiain of the cannabis (marijuana) plant, which is different from tetrahydroiannabi- nol, which is classified in the Philippines

as illegal as it delivers the euphoric "high"

leading to addiction.

HB 3961 noted that the US Food and

Dnrg A{minisration has already approved

ttre first and only prescription medicine

using 100 percent CBD called Epidiolex,

which is used to ffeat seizures.

. Also, international experts have cited the medicinal qualities of the cannabis plant, including US Surgeon General Vivek Mur-

thy who said in a recent CBS TV interview in the US that it "may be useful for certain

medical conditions".

'

Villafuerte noted in the bill that the Wbrld Health Organization itself has published a report confirming that cannabidiol or CBD "exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse

or dependence potential

there is no evi-

dence of public health-related problems as-

s )eA q€-Abt

sociated with the use ofpure CBD."

CBD is legal in 3l srates of the United

States and in 59 other counhies, while THC is illegal in almost every part of the world

Mllafuerte noted.

He said'the establishment of his pro.

posed Philippine Carurabis Developpent Authority will ensure that all medical*iun-

nabis products from the farm all the way to the finished products are of pharmaceutical

grade.

A special panel of technical experts

will also be set up under thp bill to moni-

tor cannabis farms, the processirg or

manufacture of cannabis products and its use that may be authorized by PhilCADA,

Villafuerte said.

I