Emergency Scheduling of Ingredients

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In recent years, some state legislatures have introduced bills seeking to grant greater authority to state boards or health agencies to temporarily place restrictions on substances perceived to pose threats of diversion, abuse, and harm. These proposals aim to empower state-level officials to quickly schedule substances for periods of 12-24 months, establishing controls on their sale, possession, and distribution under state law during review and data gathering.

The Issue

Proponents argue such emergency state authority, mirroring powers already within federal law, would enable more nimble responses to dangerous substances and compounds as they emerge while longer-term assessments take place. However, critics counter that such state-level bans could still criminalize possession without sufficient evidence of harm and may duplicate federal efforts while creating a patchwork of conflicting state laws. Striking an appropriate balance between flexibility and judiciousness remains central to debates over what control state vs. federal agencies should wield.

CHPA’s Position

CHPA has concerns with granting unilateral authority to temporarily schedule substance restrictions, without legislative oversight or consent. No individual agency or appointee should have uniform influence to criminalize certain compounds or sales channels without broader representation and debate within state legislatures and Congress.