Trump Admin Could Let Researchers Study Marijuana Dispensary Products, Scientist Argues After DOJ Memo Released | Marijuana Moment

  • A scientist in a case that forced the release of a previously secret Justice Department document about federally authorized marijuana research this week is now calling on Congress to urge administrative action to more rapidly expand studies into the therapeutic potential of cannabis.
  • Sue Sisley of the Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI) and attorneys representing her facility say the Department of Justice is empowered to waive certain requirements and allow additional researchers to immediately grow their own cannabis for studies without registration under newly proposed regulations or even to obtain products from state-licensed dispensaries, for example.
  • They want lawmakers’ help pressuring the Trump administration to take advantage of a process they say would not necessarily violate international treaties that federal officials have long cited as a reason they’ve been slow to license new cultivators.
  • OLC also found, however, that even the current system for marijuana research in the U.S. which involves the National Institute on Drug Abuse contracting a single grow facility at the University of Mississippi to produce cannabis and DEA registering scientists who can obtain it violates several provisions of international treaty obligations.
  • While DEA’s new proposed rule change would seemingly address issues identified in the OLC memo primarily by making it so DEA would be the sole agency in charge of possessing and purchasing cannabis for research attorneys Shane Pennington and Matt Zorn said there’s a federal statute that would enable the Justice Department to circumvent the rulemaking process by unilaterally waiving registration requirements and setting its own regulations to abide by international treaties.
  • For example, if the official were to make it so researchers could purchase marijuana from dispensaries, it could satisfy the requirement that research-grade cannabis be purchased and possessed by a single federal agency by allowing DEA to technically own the shop’s product.

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