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Import Controls Proposed on Precursor Chemical, Six Synthetic Cannabinoids

The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing to designate the chemical alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile and its salts, optical isomers and salts of optical isomers as a list I chemical under the Controlled Substances Act. This rule would subject importers, exporters, manufacturers and distributors of any amount of APAAN to all of the regulatory controls and administrative, civil and criminal actions applicable to the importing, exporting, manufacturing and distribution of a list I chemical. Chemical mixtures containing any amount of APAAN would also be subject to CSA controls unless the DEA approves an application for exemption.

According to the DEA, APAAN meets the criteria for designation as a list I chemical because it is used in clandestine laboratories to illicitly manufacture the schedule II controlled substances phenylacetone (also known as phenyl-2-propanone or P2P), methamphetamine and amphetamine and is important to the manufacture of those substances. Comments on this proposal are due no later than 11 January.

The DEA has also announced its intent to temporarily include six synthetic cannabinoids into schedule I of the CSA. Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals synthesised in laboratories that mimic the biological effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The specific substances targeted under this action are:

  • methyl 2-(1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate [5F-ADB; 5FMDMB-PINACA];
  • methyl 2-(1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3-methylbutanoate [5F-AMB];
  • N-(adamantan-1-yl)-1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide [5F-APINACA, 5F-AKB48];
  • N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide [ADB-FUBINACA];
  • methyl 2-(1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate [MDMBCHMICA, MMB-CHMINACA]; and
  • methyl 2-(1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate [MDMB-FUBINACA].

The DEA notes that this action is based on a finding that the placement of these synthetic cannabinoids into schedule I is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. Any final order, which the DEA states will be issued as soon as possible after the expiration of a 30-day layover period, will impose the administrative, civil and criminal sanctions and regulatory controls applicable to schedule I substances under the CSA on the manufacture, distribution, possession, importation, exportation, research and conduct of instructional activities of these synthetic cannabinoids.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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