In a testament to the stupidity of U.S. federal cannabis policy, the Drug Enforcement Administration moved to give preference to Canadian providers for American research last month. And now the DEA is getting a public dressing down over the issue courtesy of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida).
Gaetz unleashed a tweet storm on the agency Wednesday. “Unbelievable,” he tweeted. “#DEAgives approval to import #cannabis compounds from Canada, while AG Sessions is sitting on 2 dozen+ applications from domestic manufacturers.”
U.S. cannabis researchers have had a serious supply problem for years now. In the entire country, there is only one approved provider for research marijuana, the University of Mississippi. And the weed at Ole Miss is notoriously low in quality: moldy, seed-and-stem-filled schwag.
When reviewing the selection of cannabis coming out of the university, Jake Brown, marijuana critic at The Cannabist, said, “That is, flat out, not a usable form of cannabis… In two decades of smoking weed, I’ve never seen anything that looks like that.”
Not to mention–the University of Mississippi doesn’t even make extracts, which are preferable to flowers in many research situations.
Under the Obama Administration, the Justice Department said it would begin authorizing additional U.S. providers for medical cannabis, but since the regime change in 2016, no such action has been taken.
That’s why when researchers at the University of California, San Diego needed capsules of THC and CBD extract for an upcoming study, the DEA approved them to import their goods from the Canadian company Tilray, Inc.
This prompted Gaetz to Tweet at the DEA this week, “What happened to ‘buy American, hire American’?”
This is not a new subject for Rep. Gaetz. Last week the House Judiciary Committee passed a proposal introduced by the congressperson called the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018 which would allow for more government-licensed providers of research cannabis products.
Photo via Flickr user WeedPornDaily