JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri General Assembly has given final approval to legislation that would give medical professionals greater freedom to recommend CBD oil to treat intractable epilepsy. The legislation has been a bipartisan priority for state Reps. Jean Evans and Donna Baringer, who filed their own bills to address the issue. While their individual bills did not pass, both legislators gave their support to SB 718 to help it cross the legislative finish line on the final day of the regular session.
The legislation will enact language similar to what other states have in place to protect medical professionals from liability for recommending a Schedule I drug. The original bill approved by the legislature in 2014 to allow for the use of CBD did not contain such language, and the result is that some medical professionals have hesitated to recommend the use of the oil to patients. With the new protections in place, Evans and Baringer say medical professionals will have the freedom to recommend CBD oil when it is the right treatment.
“Patients who can benefit from CBD oil deserve to have access to it, and we want our medical professionals to be able to recommend it when appropriate without fearing a lawsuit,” said Evans, R-Manchester. “This change can go a long way toward putting this life-altering medication into the hands of those who can greatly benefit from its use.”
“We know the evidence shows that CBD oil has a positive impact on those seeking treatment, and it’s imperative that we empower our medical professionals to be able to recommend this life-altering medicine when it is the appropriate treatment,” said Baringer, D-St. Louis. “My hope is that we can continue to work on this issue and further expand access to CBD oil to those who need it, but I am extremely thankful for the support of my colleagues in getting this important step forward approved.”
With the General Assembly’s approval, the bill now awaits the governor’s signature to become law.