Sales begin for first FDA-approved CBD drug

Sales are underway for the first CBD drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The drug, Epidiolex, treats two rare types of epilepsy and is made from marijuana plants grown in the United Kingdom.

The maker of the medication, GW Pharmaceuticals, has said the tincture would cost about $32,500 a year.

U.S. insurance companies have not yet determined whether they’ll cover the medication, though GW Pharmaceuticals has announced it will cover some costs for potential patients who apply to the company.

Epidiolex was approved by the FDA in June, though sales could not begin until the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration removed legal restrictions around selling it.

The DEA decided in September that cannabinoid drugs approved by the FDA and containing no more than 0.1% THC would be classified as Schedule 5 drugs, rather than Schedule 1 drugs.

The change was the first time nonsynthetic cannabis has been cleared for medical use by the U.S. government.

GW Pharmaceuticals trades on the Nasdaq as GWPH.