The cannabis industry is growing, as local initiatives to facilitate medicinal or recreational use expand even in the face of federal resistance. State regulatory regimes are creating a patchwork of experiments that may inform a path forward for a federal regulatory regime, whether or not cannabis is removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

This year’s Food and Drug Law Journal Symposium considers federal regulation of cannabis, focusing on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but also including other federal agencies.  The Symposium will explore the legal and practical implications of current and potential federal regulation on state and local government interests, industry, patients, and consumers. 

Call for Abstracts

We seek proposals from scholars and practitioners for articles that explore the path forward for federal regulation, whether cannabis remains a Schedule I drug or is removed from Schedule I (rescheduled or descheduled).

We are especially interested in articles that examine the path forward if cannabis remains a Schedule I drug.  Although this list is not exhaustive, topics for exploration might include:

  • The approval paradigm and challenges for cannabis-based new drugs;
  • Regulation of components of cannabis (e.g. cannabidiol) in new drugs or other products;
  • Regulation of edibles containing cannabis as well as “marijuana infused” products, including safety, labeling, and similar considerations;
  • Application of current good manufacturing practices to cannabis-based products;
  • Prospects for safety surveillance in a system of state-based regulation of medicinal cannabis;
  • Ethical considerations for lawyers providing FDA-related advice to cannabis businesses; and
  • Challenges relating to the tension between federal and state authorities and perspectives on medical cannabis.

We will also consider abstracts that consider a path forward for federal regulation in the event that cannabis is removed from Schedule I.  Many of the same topics (such as challenges with the new drug approval paradigm) could be explored.  Other topics might include:

  • Proposals for new federal regulatory frameworks;
  • Ensuring adequate incentives for research to understand public health, toxicity, or therapeutic aspects of cannabis; and
  • The implications for federal regulation of the differing approaches advanced by rescheduling/descheduling advocates.

Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words.

Please submit all abstracts by Monday, June 4, 2018.

Submit Abstract

Notifications to selected authors will be sent by June 22, 2018.

Draft manuscripts will be submitted by October 19, 2018 to be made available to Symposium participants for discussion. The Food and Drug Law Journal retains exclusive first rights to publish the papers in a future issue.

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Industry & Firms

  • $199 for nonmembers


  • $49 for nonmembers


  • $49 for nonmembers


  • $49 for nonmembers


  • full-time students only
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Preliminary agenda will be announced shortly

Continuing Legal Education

FDLI applies for CLE credits in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These CLE approvals may also be honored by other states; please check with your bar association for guidance. The CLE credits will be posted as they are granted and you can request to be notified when approval is received.

Location and Overnight Accommodations


The Symposium will be held near Union Station in Washington, DC. The specific location will be announced in the fall.

Overnight Accommodations

The following hotels are within walking distance of the meeting location:

The Liaison Capitol Hill, 415 New Jersey Ave NW
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave NW
Kimpton George Hotel, 15 E St NW

Please contact the Conference Department with any accessibility requirements or dietary restrictions, or for other questions.