Welcome back to Higher Law, our weekly briefing on all things cannabis. I’m Cheryl Miller, reporting for Law.com from Sacramento, the hometown of some guy who just announced his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court.

You might recall that Anthony Kennedy, once a federal appeals court judge in California, only became Ronald Reagan’s nominee for the high court after the president’s previous choice, Judge Douglas Ginsburg, withdrew amid a “clamor” over his admission of past pot-smoking.

How times have changed.

This week we look at the FDA’s approval of a cannabis-containing prescription drug. Is it that big of a deal? Check out which company is hiring lobbyists on both coasts in Who Got the Work. And Oklahoma is A-OK for medical marijuana.

Got a tip or story idea? Feedback? Drop me a line at [email protected] or call 916-448-2935. Follow me on Twitter at @capitalaccounts.

An FDA First for Marijuana

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made all sorts of headlines this week when it approved for the first time ever a drug that contains non-synthetic marijuana. That’s right. An arm of the federal government, which still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, declared that the cannabidiol-containing drug Epidiolex is an appropriate treatment for two rare and severe forms of childhood-onset epilepsy.

“BFD Alert!” tweeted Hilary Bricken, chair of Harris Bricken‘s Canna Law Group.

“The United States government just declared that marijuana is medicine,” Steven Schain, a senior attorney at Hoban Law Group, told me.

➤➤ Does the FDA’s action signal a sea change in the federal government’s views on marijuana, especially non-pscyhoactive cannibinoids? Should I funnel my 401(k) savings into canna-pharmaceutical companies?

I asked John Mansfield, a Harris Bricken attorney who advises clients on IP and FDA issues, for some perspective.

“It’s not a game-changer,” Mansfield says. “It’s another step showing that FDA is willing to approve medical marijuana, if you play by the rules.”

FDA Commissioner

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