DEA Places Six Cannabinoids In Temporary Schedule 1
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS OCT. 1-2 ** A Drug Enforcement Administration agent hands a freshly-pulled marijuana plant off to another law enforcement officer as they work to clear a patch of the week planted beneath a spread of native flora on national forest land near Entiant, Wash., Sept. 20, 2005. Police confiscated 465 marijuana plants at the so-called "garden," a small find compared to the thousands of other plants confiscated on some other busts in the area. The illegal marijuana growing operations are wreaking havoc on counties with huge tracts of open space and few resources to tackle them. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a temporary order to schedule six synthetic cannabinoids in schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA said the action was based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of these six substances in schedule I was necessary to avoid imminent hazard to public safety. The temporary order begins today and is effective until December 12, 2025.

The products are sold in gas stations, convenience stores, and smoke shops. They are sold as herbal incense and promoted as a legal alternative to cannabis.

The cannabinoids are:

•Methyl 3,3-dimethyl-2-(1-(pent-4- en-1-yl)-1H-indazole-3- carboxamido)butanoate (Other name: MDMB–4en–PINACA)

•Methyl 2-[[1-(4-fluorobutyl)indole- 3-carbonyl]amino]-3,3-dimethyl- butanoate (Other names: 4F–MDMB– BUTICA; 4F–MDMB–BICA)

•N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1- oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(pent-4-en-1-yl)-1H- indazole-3-carboxamide (Other name: ADB–4en–PINACA)

• 5-Pentyl-2-(2-phenylpropan-2- yl)pyrido[4,3-b]indol-1-one (Other name: CUMYL–PEGACLONE; SGT– 151)

• Ethyl 2-[[1-(5-fluoropentyl)indole-3- carbonyl]amino]-3,3-dimethyl-butanoate (Other names: 5F–EDMB–PICA; 5F– EDMB–2201

•Methyl 2-(1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H- indole-3-carboxamido)-3-methyl butanoate (Other name: MMB–FUBICA).

Synthetic Cannabinoids

The notice described synthetic cannabinoids as substances that are synthesized in laboratories that mimic delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. The DEA said that from 2009, abuse of SCs has escalated in the United States noting recent hospital reports, and said the products are negatively impacting communities. They also state that there are no medical uses for these products.

The DEA said that emergency room situations involving these compounds have included seizures, sudden collapse, involuntary muscle spasms, jerking movements, catatonia, and increased violence.

Multiple deaths have been reported involving MDMB- 4en-PINACA, 4F-MDMB-BUTICA, and CUMYL-PEGACLONE. In addition, all six SCs have been seized by law enforcement in the United States. Based on the pharmacological similarities between MDMB-4en-PINACA, 4F-MDMB-BUTICA, ADB-4en-PINACA, CUMYL- PEGACLONE, 5F-EDMB-PICA, and MMB-FUBICA and other schedule I SCs, these six SCs are likely to produce signs of addiction and withdrawal.

These products typically come from China in bulk powder form and are smuggled via common carrier into the United States and find their way to clandestine designer drug product manufacturing operations located in residential neighborhoods, garages, warehouses, and other similar destinations throughout the country. The producers then spray or mix the SCs with plant material for consumers to smoke with a pipe or rolled into a joint.

Next Steps

The new order states that if sellers don’t have a license to sell these Schedule 1 drugs, they need to surrender these products. If this order is extended or made permanent, the DEA said it will publish a document in the Federal Register.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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