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Six Synthetic Cannabinoids Placed in Schedule 1 in Effort to ‘Avoid Imminent Hazard to Public Safety’

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has placed six ‘synthetic cannabinoids’ into a temporary Schedule 1 in an effort to ‘avoid imminent hazard to public safety’.

In further efforts to crackdown on the emergence of these new synthetic cannabinoid compounds, anyone found to ‘manufacture, distribute, reverse distribute, import, export…or possess these compounds’ will be subject to ‘criminal sanctions applicable with Schedule 1’ substances like heroin or cocaine.

This temporary scheduling will now last until December 2025, in which time the DEA says it will gather additional information to inform its final decision on appropriate long-term regulatory controls.

These six substances include:

  •  Methyl 3,3-dimethyl-2-(1-(pent-4-en-1-yl)-1 H -indazole-3-carboxamido)butanoate (Other name: MDMB–4en–PINACA),
    • Methyl 2-[[1-(4-fluorobutyl)indole-3-carbonyl]amino]-3,3-dimethyl-butanoate (Other names: 4F–MDMB–BUTICA; 4F–MDMB–BICA),
  • N -(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(pent-4-en-1-yl)-1 H -indazole-3-carboxamide (Other name: ADB–4en–PINACA),
    • 5-Pentyl-2-(2-phenylpropan-2-yl)pyrido[4,3-b]indol-1-one (Other name: CUMYL–PEGACLONE; SGT–151),
    • Ethyl 2-[[1-(5-fluoropentyl)indole-3-carbonyl]amino]-3,3-dimethyl-butanoate (Other names: 5F–EDMB–PICA; 5F–EDMB–2201), and
  • Methyl 2-(1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1 H -indole-3-carboxamido)-3-methyl butanoate (Other name: MMB–FUBICA).

According to the DEA, these synthetic cannabinoids typically originate from foreign suppliers, with China being a notable source.

These substances, often in bulk powder form, are illicitly transported through common carriers into the United States. Once in the country, they make their way to clandestine manufacturing operations for designer drugs, which are often situated in residential areas, garages, warehouses, and similar locations across the nation.

Information gathered from online forums and law enforcement interactions indicates that a common method of administration involves blending or spraying synthetic cannabinoids onto plant material. This drug-laced plant material is then commonly smoked, using methods such as pipes, water pipes, or by rolling it into cigarette papers.

It is also understood that many of these substances are sold throughout the US as legal alternatives to cannabis or herbal incense. 

It added that these compounds continue to ‘result in serious adverse effects’, including ‘signs of addiction and withdrawal, numerous reports of emergency department admissions, and overall toxicity and deaths’.

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