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Suing the DEA to Get Weed Legalized



DEA sued for marijuana legalization

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is often portrayed in popular media as a valiant police force dedicated to combating drug cartels and keeping our streets safe from dangerous illegal substances. Images of fearless DEA agents conducting dramatic raids and busts fill movies and TV shows, shaping the public perception of this powerful government agency.


However, behind this carefully crafted facade lies a more troubling reality. The DEA functions as its own quasi-government, wielding immense power over the very definition of what constitutes an illicit drug. With its own appointed judges and largely unchecked authority, the DEA serves as the ultimate gatekeeper, determining which substances are deemed acceptable for medical research and which are consigned to the shadowy realm of criminality.


Under the DEA’s arbitrary scheduling system, cannabis remains firmly entrenched as a Schedule I drug, denoting “no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” This classification persists despite a growing body of scientific evidence and countless patient testimonials attesting to the therapeutic potential of marijuana for a wide range of conditions. The DEA’s intransigence on this matter has created an absurd situation in which biotech companies, seeking to conduct legitimate research into the medical applications of cannabis, must navigate a byzantine bureaucratic process established by the very agency that stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the plant’s medicinal value.


Yet even for those intrepid companies willing to wade through the DEA’s regulatory morass, the path to researching this “highly dangerous drug” is fraught with inexplicable delays, opaque decision-making, and seemingly endless obstacles. The story we’ll be examining today lays bare the true nature and purpose of the DEA, an agency that appears more interested in perpetuating the failed War on Drugs than in facilitating scientific progress and medical advancement. As the evidence mounts and public opinion shifts, it becomes increasingly clear that it may be time to seriously reconsider the DEA’s role in our society and whether this unaccountable institution deserves to maintain its stranglehold over the future of medicine.



The case of MMJ BioPharma Cultivation Inc. versus the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) serves as a poignant example of the agency’s obstructive and counterproductive approach to medical research. MMJ BioPharma, a Rhode Island-based biotech pharmaceutical company, has been striving to develop cannabis-based medications that could potentially revolutionize the treatment of debilitating conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease. These efforts align with the growing trend of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals, exemplified by the groundbreaking FDA-approved drug Epidiolex, which has provided hope and relief to countless patients suffering from severe epilepsy.


However, MMJ BioPharma’s noble pursuit of scientific advancement has been met with a series of inexplicable roadblocks and bureaucratic hurdles erected by the DEA. In 2018, the company dutifully applied for the necessary licenses to cultivate marijuana for research and development purposes, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to commence clinical trials that could yield life-changing treatments. Yet, despite meticulously following the DEA’s convoluted application process, MMJ BioPharma found itself trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of delays, obfuscation, and stonewalling.


The company’s lawsuit against the DEA paints a disturbing picture of an agency more concerned with maintaining its iron grip on drug prohibition than facilitating scientific progress. MMJ BioPharma alleges that the DEA repeatedly failed to meet statutory deadlines, neglected to submit the company’s application to the Federal Register within the required timeframe, and provided evasive or contradictory responses to inquiries regarding the status of their registration.


This pattern of behavior suggests a deliberate attempt to obstruct and discourage research into the therapeutic potential of cannabis, rather than a good-faith effort to regulate and oversee the process.


The DEA’s actions, or lack thereof, have not only hindered MMJ BioPharma’s ability to conduct vital research but have also had a profound impact on the lives of countless patients who could potentially benefit from the development of these innovative medications.


The agency’s intransigence has effectively condemned these individuals to continue suffering, denying them access to potentially life-altering treatments that could improve their quality of life and offer hope where traditional therapies have failed.


Moreover, the DEA’s apparent disregard for the scientific process and its lack of transparency in decision-making raise serious questions about the agency’s true motives.


Rather than acting as an impartial regulator guided by evidence and the public interest, the DEA seems to prioritize its role as a gatekeeper, jealously guarding its power to dictate which substances are deemed acceptable for medical use. This approach not only stifles innovation and hinders the advancement of medical science but also undermines the fundamental principles of a free and open society.


As MMJ BioPharma’s legal battle against the DEA unfolds, it serves as a microcosm of the broader struggle between those seeking to harness the therapeutic potential of cannabis and an entrenched bureaucracy intent on maintaining the status quo. The question that looms large is: if the DEA is the gatekeeper, who owns the manor? Who truly benefits from the agency’s intransigence, and what interests does it serve to keep the gates of medical progress so tightly shut?



The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is often portrayed as a noble agency dedicated to protecting the American public from the scourge of illegal drugs. However, a deeper examination of the agency’s history and actions reveals a far more troubling reality. To fully understand the DEA’s true role, we must first delve into its origins and the legislative framework that granted it such sweeping powers.


Prior to the establishment of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the DEA was another agency run by the notorious Harry J. Anslinger, a man whose name is synonymous with the racist and xenophobic roots of drug prohibition. The CSA, signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970, codified a system that essentially granted the “official pharmaceutical industry” a monopoly over the production, distribution, and manufacture of “approved” drugs. Any substance falling outside this narrow definition would be deemed “contraband” and subject to severe criminal penalties.


Under this new regime, the DEA was tasked with two primary functions: serving as the enforcers of Big Pharma’s interests and acting as the gatekeeper to protect their monopoly. The agency was granted the power to determine the legal status of drugs, effectively deciding which substances would be allowed to generate profits for pharmaceutical companies and which would be relegated to the black market.


Additionally, the DEA was armed with guns and the authority to pursue and arrest those who dared to challenge this monopoly, ensuring that no competitors could threaten the dominance of the established players.


The case of MMJ BioPharma perfectly illustrates the DEA’s true priorities. This biotech pharmaceutical company is working tirelessly to develop a cannabis-based medicine that could potentially improve the lives of countless patients suffering from conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease. However, their groundbreaking work threatens to disrupt the profits of certain pharmaceutical manufacturers who currently market drugs for these conditions.


Rather than embracing the potential for medical advancement, the DEA has instead thrown up countless bureaucratic roadblocks, burying MMJ BioPharma in a labyrinth of red tape and administrative hurdles designed to stifle innovation and protect the status quo.


This blatant obstruction of scientific progress lays bare the DEA’s true allegiance. Rather than prioritizing the health and well-being of the American people, the agency appears to be more concerned with safeguarding the interests of Big Pharma.


By denying companies like MMJ BioPharma the opportunity to research and develop potentially life-changing medications, the DEA is effectively denying patients access to safer, more effective treatments that could dramatically improve their quality of life.


It is becoming increasingly clear that the DEA’s role as a “protector” of public health is little more than a facade. Behind closed doors, the agency operates as an extension of the pharmaceutical industry, using its vast powers to maintain a monopoly that prioritizes profits over people.


As Americans continue to struggle with the devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic and the limitations of currently available treatments, it is time to question whether the DEA truly serves the interests of the public or merely acts as a guardian for the financial interests of a privileged few. Only by confronting this uncomfortable reality can we hope to reform a broken system and ensure that the well-being of patients, not the bottom line of pharmaceutical companies, is the driving force behind drug policy in the United States.



The case of MMJ BioPharma’s legal battle against the DEA serves as a stark reminder of the agency’s true nature and the insidious role it plays in perpetuating a broken system that prioritizes the interests of Big Pharma over the health and well-being of the American people. By erecting endless bureaucratic barriers and stonewalling efforts to research the therapeutic potential of cannabis, the DEA has revealed itself to be not a protector of public health, but rather a guardian of a monopolistic industry that profits from the suffering of patients.


The DEA’s actions, or more accurately, its inaction, in the face of promising scientific advancements raises serious questions about the agency’s legitimacy and its place in a society that prides itself on the principles of liberty and individual autonomy. If citizens are not free to make informed decisions about what substances they can put into their own bodies, then the very concept of personal freedom is rendered meaningless. When an unelected government agency has the power to dictate which medicines are acceptable and which are forbidden, it effectively asserts ownership over the bodies and health of the American people.


There is a word for a system in which individuals are denied control over their own bodies, where their physical autonomy is subjugated to the whims of those in power: slavery. While it may seem hyperbolic to invoke such a charged term, the reality is that the DEA’s actions amount to a form of medical slavery, denying patients the right to access potentially life-changing treatments and forcing them to rely on a limited range of often inadequate or dangerous pharmaceutical products.


In a truly free society, the DEA’s current form and function would be an anathema. It is time for Americans to demand an end to this tyrannical agency and the oppressive system it upholds. Only by dismantling the DEA and its stranglehold on medical research and personal choice can we hope to create a future in which the health and autonomy of individuals are respected, and the potential of science to alleviate suffering is fully realized. The sticky bottom line is that the DEA, as it exists today, is incompatible with the fundamental principles of liberty and justice. It is a relic of a failed War on Drugs, a monument to the corrupting influence of special interests, and a betrayal of the American people’s trust. The time has come to reclaim our bodies, our health, and our freedom from the clutches of this oppressive institution.






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What Rescheduling Marijuana Means for California’s Cannabis Industry




California‘s cannabis industry suffers from a seemingly unending list of problems: high taxes, prohibitionist cities, a related lack of retail licenses and oversupply of non-retail licenses, a monster illegal market with no end in sight, burdensome and often senseless regulations, and so on. Unfortunately, rescheduling won’t solve most of these problems–at least not directly. Today I want to look at what rescheduling could mean for California’s cannabis industry.

If you’re not already up to speed on rescheduling, check out my colleague Vince Sliwoski’s explainer of the DEA’s notice of proposed rulemaking to move marijuana from schedule I (where it sits next to heroin) to schedule III, or any of the following posts of ours:

With that out of the way, let’s look how rescheduling could affect (or not affect) California’s cannabis industry.

First and foremost, rescheduling does not mean that state-legal cannabis markets will be federally compliant. In other words, all California cannabis businesses will still violate federal law. The biggest change would be that  IRC § 280E – which prohibits cannabis businesses from making standard federal tax deductions – will go away. But the statewide cannabis industry won’t be federally “legal.”

What that means is that rescheduling will have no impact on things like the prohibition on interstate commerce, which has kept California walled off from other states (at least California’s legal market). So for now, California’s still on its own.

Rescheduling also won’t impact state law where it counts. Things like local control, burdensome regulations, fighting the illegal market, and so on, will stay the same. Importantly, local and state tax law won’t change: California and many local cities tax cannabis businesses as if they are piggybanks. While 280E relief will undoubtedly help, it makes it much less likely that the state will revisit its own excise tax or think about how it could cap local gross receipts taxes.

So with all that out of the way, is there any good news? I think the answer is a clear yes. Here’s why:

  • Even without state and local tax relief, 280E relief alone will be a monumental change for the industry.
  • Investments into California’s cannabis industry are likely to increase as investors who previously stood on the sidelines become more comfortable with the idea of investing into a (slightly) less regulated industry.
  • Other ancillary service providers may also be more open to providing services to the industry for similar reasons. More ancillary service providers may reduce costs within the cannabis industry.
  • It’s possible that state governments also decide to be more bold. For example, states could decide to roll the dice on interstate commerce compacts after rescheduling, even in spite of schedule III issues.
  • Although the impact on the illegal market will likely be small, the removal of 280E liabilities could entice people who would otherwise have remained unlicensed to become legal and complaint operators.

We’ve got a long way to go before rescheduling happens. And while nobody can really say for sure how things will shake out, it seems like there are some definite positive outcomes for California’s cannabis industry. So stay tuned for more updates.

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The End of the US Hemp Industry is Near




end of hemp in america

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp, distinguishing it from marijuana based on its low THC content. However, an emerging loophole has allowed the proliferation of psychoactive hemp-derived products, particularly delta-8 THC, which has led to significant regulatory and public health concerns. In response, a proposed amendment to the Farm Bill seeks to address these issues by banning hemp-derived cannabinoid products, including delta-8 THC. This proposed amendment, filed by Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), aims to redefine hemp and close the existing loophole around intoxicating hemp. The amendment has sparked a heated debate among industry stakeholders, regulators, and lawmakers.

If you have followed the legal hemp market over the past 8 years and attended shows like the Benzinga Cannabis Conference, you know that the only thing keeping the US hemp industry alive, and on life-support at best, is the sale of commerical retail products that create revenue, ie, Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC products derived from hemp.  While hemp-crete and hemp twine are nice stories, the only “cash crop” hemp has right now is selling “hemp that gets you high” to Americans that don’t have acccess to legal weed.

As mentioned by a few VCs and investment firms at the industry trade shows, the only think keeping hemp alive in America is Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC products and sales.

That “loophole” in the original 2018 Farm Bill may be closing, and for good, with a new amendment put forward this week.


 Key Provisions of the Proposed Amendment

The amendment includes several critical provisions designed to tighten regulations on hemp-derived products:

  • Redefinition of Hemp: Redefines hemp to exclude products containing detectable levels of THC and cannabinoids synthesized outside the plant.

  • Ban on Delta-8 THC: Explicitly bans hemp-derived products that contain psychoactive cannabinoids, such as delta-8 THC.

  • Enhanced Regulatory Oversight: Aims to provide clearer guidelines and stricter controls over the production and sale of hemp-derived products.

 Concerns Leading to the Amendment

Proponents of the amendment argue that the current lack of regulation has led to several issues:

  • Marketing to Children and Teens: Psychoactive hemp products are often marketed in colorful packaging, resembling candy and snacks, raising concerns about their appeal to children and teenagers.

  • Unregulated Market: The proliferation of hemp-derived cannabinoids has resulted in an unregulated market where the safety and quality of products are inconsistent.

  • Public Health Risks: There are concerns about the potential health risks associated with the unregulated sale and consumption of these products.

 Industry Opposition and Concerns

Industry stakeholders and advocates for the hemp industry have voiced strong opposition to the proposed amendment. Their main arguments include:

  • Impact on CBD Products: The amendment could criminalize many non-intoxicating CBD products that naturally contain trace amounts of THC.

  • Economic Consequences: The ban could devastate the hemp industry, resulting in significant job losses and economic decline.

  • Access to Health Products: Many Americans rely on hemp-derived products for health and wellness, and the ban could deny them access to these beneficial products.

 Economic Implications

The hemp market is currently valued at approximately $28 billion, with a significant portion of this market driven by hemp-derived cannabinoid products. The proposed amendment could have profound economic implications, including:

  • Job Losses: Potential loss of tens of thousands of jobs in agriculture, retail, and manufacturing sectors.

  • Market Decline: A potential decline in sales and overall market value as many products would no longer be legally available.

  • Investment Uncertainty: Increased regulatory uncertainty could deter future investments in the hemp industry.

Regulatory Challenges

The hemp industry has faced numerous regulatory challenges since the legalization of hemp in 2018. Key regulatory hurdles include:

Lack of FDA Regulation: The FDA has yet to establish clear regulations for hemp-derived CBD products, creating a patchwork of state-level regulations and contributing to market instability.

  • Safety and Quality Standards: The absence of federal guidelines has led to inconsistent safety and quality standards across the industry.

  • Youth Access: The unregulated sale of psychoactive hemp products has raised concerns about youth access and potential misuse.

Legislative Process and Potential Outcomes

The amendment’s approval by the House Agriculture Committee is the first step in a potentially contentious legislative process. The Senate, which has yet to release its version of the Farm Bill, will play a crucial role in determining the amendment’s fate. Key considerations include:

  • Senate’s Stance: The Democratic-controlled Senate may take a different approach to the regulation of hemp-derived cannabinoids, potentially leading to a conflict between the two chambers.

  • Bipartisan Negotiations: Successful passage of the amendment will likely require bipartisan support and negotiations to reconcile differing viewpoints.

  • Final Legislation: The final version of the Farm Bill will need to balance the interests of public health, industry stakeholders, and regulatory clarity.

Broader Implications for Cannabinoid Regulation

The proposed amendment raises broader questions about the regulation of cannabinoids in general:

  • Defining Cannabinoids: The amendment’s language excluding detectable levels of THC and synthesized cannabinoids could impact the regulation of other cannabinoids, such as CBD.

  • Regulatory Parity: Proponents argue that the amendment would create regulatory parity and facilitate state-level regulation of intoxicating hemp products.

  • Future of Cannabinoid Products: The regulation of cannabinoids will continue to evolve, with ongoing debates about the safety, efficacy, and legality of various products.

 Public Health Considerations

The shift towards greater regulation of hemp-derived cannabinoids has significant public health implications:

  • Consumer Safety: Enhanced regulatory oversight could improve consumer safety by ensuring that hemp-derived products meet consistent quality and safety standards.

  • Health Risks: The unregulated sale of psychoactive hemp products poses potential health risks, particularly for vulnerable populations.

  • Research and Education: Increased research and public education efforts are needed to fully understand the health impacts of hemp-derived cannabinoids and inform regulatory policies.

Industry Adaptation and Future Outlook

The hemp industry will need to adapt to the proposed regulatory changes if the amendment is enacted. Key strategies for adaptation include:

  • Compliance and Certification: Producers and manufacturers will need to invest in compliance and certification processes to meet new regulatory standards.

  • Product Innovation: The industry may shift focus towards non-psychoactive hemp applications and develop new products that comply with stricter regulations.

  • Advocacy and Engagement: Ongoing advocacy and engagement with policymakers will be essential to ensure that the industry’s interests are represented in regulatory discussions.


The proposed Farm Bill amendment to ban hemp-derived cannabinoid products represents a significant shift in U.S. agricultural and regulatory policy. While proponents argue that it addresses critical public health and safety concerns, industry stakeholders warn of devastating economic consequences and the potential loss of beneficial products. As the amendment moves through the legislative process, the hemp industry faces a period of uncertainty and adaptation. The outcome of this debate will shape the future of hemp regulation, balancing the need for consumer protection with the growth and innovation of a burgeoning industry.





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Just Say No to Pesticides on Your Weed




pesticide free cannabis growing

How To Prevent Pests In Your Homegrown Cannabis Plants Without Using Harmful Chemicals


Just like every other plant, cannabis plants will also attract its fair share of pests and bugs when you try to grow them at home. Even professional cannabis growers have to deal with pests!

Pests come in the form of insects, fungus, mites, and bacteria. For homegrown marijuana, the most common offenders include aphids, thrips, spider mites, botrytis, cabbage loopers, whiteflies, powdery mildew, fungus gnats, and root aphids. When they go on undetected or without any treatment, they can cause a wide array of damage to your precious cannabis plant.


The worst-case scenario is that your plant can end up being so unhealthy and damaged, that you might even have to end up throwing it away before you can harvest anything. Sometimes, the pest problem can hide itself so effectively that you won’t even know it’s there until you’ve harvested your weed, and are opening your buds apart to smoke. Then, it would be far too late to do anything!


Many weed growers end up resorting to strong, harmful chemical pesticides and fungicides to prevent pest problems or nip them in the bud. However, these chemical pesticides and fungicides can also be dangerous for humans and the environment. They are, after all, made with chemicals – and some of these chemicals are known to be carcinogenic.


But don’t worry: there are several other ways cannabis home growers can deal with pests without harmful chemicals and strong pesticides.


Prevention Is Key


Truly understanding your home grow setup and operation is the first and most important step to preventing pests. This can take some time and resources in the beginning, but it will save you time and money in the long run!

There are certain factors involved with specific grow setups as well as environments. For example, when growing marijuana outdoors, the most common pests to deal with include aphids, Eurasian hemp borers, corn earworms, and hemp russet mites among others. You’ll also have to learn to prevent squirrels, deer, raccoons, and other bigger animals since humans aren’t the only ones that are attracted to weed!


Meanwhile, there’s a different set of beasts to deal with indoors because other factors are involved. These include humidity, ventilation, and air circulation. But regardless of whether you are growing indoors or outdoors, keep in mind that soil plays a critical role in preventing pests. Many growers have found success in using beneficial nematodes, which are microscopic and thus invisible roundworms that eat pests that thrive in soil. Nematodes are excellent for eliminating root aphids and fungus gnats; you can drench the soil in it or mix it up in water before irrigation.


Companion Planting


Companion planting is a common and widely practiced technique in farming as well as gardening. You can apply the principles of companion planting for cannabis cultivation; it entails planting certain plants or herbs next to cannabis which are known to create a symbiotic or beneficial environment. For example, certain plants or vegetables are known to equally feed off water, while other plants consume more water and thus leave their companion plants thirsty.


Meanwhile, some companion plants are effective in helping repel insects and diseases, which is why they are favored among cannabis growers. When it comes to companion planting, some plants to consider include marigolds, lavender, basil, and nasturtiums.


Beneficial Insects


Believe it or not, some insects can actually be good for your cannabis harvest. Lacewings and ladybugs are two of the most valuable types of insects for cannabis growers, especially if you are growing outside.

To ensure an abundant population, you can purchase beneficial insects and let them roam free in your greenhouse or grow area. They are fantastic for all kinds of plants, not just marijuana. Ladybugs and lacewings are particularly effective because they feed on spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, and other soft-bodied pests as well as larvae.


Organic Pesticides


There are several different kinds of effective organic pesticides and fungicides in the market, too. You can use them as a complement to other pest-prevention techniques that you are already doing. Adding organic pesticides to cannabis crop care and maintenance can help greatly deter pests especially if you find that other techniques are lacking or not working as well.

Organic pesticides come in the form of neem oil, insecticidal soap, and botanical sprays. Neem oil is a top choice when it comes to organic pest control, even among household plants! Keep in mind to use neem oil only during the vegetative growth cycle of marijuana.


 Just dilute two teaspoons of neem essential oil into a gallon of water, then spray. Or, you can also buy ready-to-use neem spray. Neem oil can be sprayed directly on the foliage, or you can also drench the soil in neem oil no matter what stage of growth your cannabis plant is in. It’s extremely effective in killing and preventing cannabis pests including leafhoppers, crickets, aphids, mealybugs, and so much more.


If you’re going to end up using foliar sprays, it’s important to buy the best-quality organic, natural sprays that you can afford. That’s because any ingredients used in those sprays are going to end up in the cannabis flower, which means that you’re going to end up smoking it. When it comes to the best time to use foliar spray on cannabis, it’s during the flowering cycle because it can help keep cabbage loopers and other pests off during this phase.



There are many creative ways you can get rid of pests effectively, whether you are growing cannabis indoors or outdoors. Follow these tips to ensure a healthy harvest without compromising your health or that of the environment – there’s no need to use nasty and highly toxic chemical sprays





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