A novel CBD pharmaceutical drug — if approved by the FDA — will have a path to pharmacies in Colorado.

Gov. John Hickenlooper this week signed House Bill 1187, which allows for doctors to prescribe and pharmacies to dispense FDA-approved medicines that contain cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabis plant compound.

The impetus for the bill was Epidiolex, a CBD-centric drug for rare seizure disorders. London-based GW Pharmaceuticals, via its U.S. subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences, developed Epidiolex utilizing plant-derived cannabis compounds but hit roadblocks on the state level because of marijuana’s Schedule I designation.

In Colorado, the bill signed Monday sought to address a state statute that prevented pharmacies from dispensing cannabis products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue a decision on Epidiolex’s new drug application by the end of this month. In April, an FDA advisory committee gave a unanimous recommendation for approval.

Members of the hemp and marijuana industries have expressed concerns that Epdiolex’s approval could ultimately harm the emerging CBD extracts industry. House Bill 1187 included language to provide guardrails for the state’s existing extracts businesses.

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