ACS Letter To ONDCP Director Rahul Gupta


Dear Dr. Gupta:

Congratulations on the confirmation as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. We welcome your leadership as our respective agendas are to improve and serve the health of the American people.

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Introduction to ACS

This letter is an introduction to our organization and an invitation for a more in-depth discussion regarding cannabis, and more specifically, medical cannabis and cannabinoids. The Association of Cannabinoid Specialists (ACS) is a medical society of 1200+ clinicians that is focused solely on the use of cannabis and cannabinoid medications for the benefit of patients.


The ACS also engages with law makers and industry stakeholders on certain policy matters. One such policy consideration is how to structure a federal cannabis policy - and ACS is working to ensure that any federal policy leads with patient needs.

A Regulated Medical Cannabis Paradigm

In short, the ACS supports a regulated medical cannabis paradigm that is subject to a newly created pathway. This new product lane would be subject to appropriate controls and quality standards, and coexist with the conventional pharmaceutical model and the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) pathway (yet to be developed).


The ACS recently supported a letter by Senators Warren and Booker to Attorney General Garland and HHS Secretary Becerra requesting that AG Garland exercise his authority under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) to decriminalize cannabis while also underscoring that patients should be prioritized above all else.

The Need for a Federal Framework

The medical value of cannabis is indisputable and as your office represents, an appropriate paradigm will serve and safeguard patients. There is a tremendous opportunity in front of us to design a framework that provides for the proper medical care of all Americans. We have a position paper outlining the key elements needed to provide that sort of care.


We look forward to working with you and the Biden Administration in developing a sound federal framework for medical cannabis and cannabinoids that prioritizes patients. Please consider the ACS as a resource to you and your office as you consider your role in the advancement of the safe use of cannabinoid medications in the United States.


Jordan Tishler, MD
President, Association of Cannabinoid Specialists