Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world


FDA Punts on CBD Rules

On December 20, 2018, Former President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law, which removed hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act, stripped the DEA’s authority from hemp and gave states the ability to regulate hemp markets of their own, with approval from the USDA. When that Farm Bill became law, it paved the […]

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DEA Attorney Claims Feds Will Reschedule Marijuana This Summer

Mark August 1, 2016, down your calendar, it should be an important date to remember… at least if you’ve been waiting for the world-class disaster that is the Schedule One classification of cannabis to be changed. That’s right, embarrassed by failure and pressured by public opinion; it’s the day the US government will supposedly reclassify cannabis as […] Thanks to

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CBD Research: DEA Loosens Restrictions for Studying Beneficial Cannabinoid

Whether for greed or science, the DEA has reduced restrictions on  researching the CBD cannabinoid. Last week rumor, innuendo, and hope filled the air. As the charitable season of Christmas took hold, there was a glimmer of hope that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) could be on the precipice of a historic decision, downgrading the Schedule I status of […]

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California High Court Ruling: DEA Breaking The Law By Raiding Legal Dispensaries

Better late than never: Signaling a significant victory for patients and dispensaries participating in state sanctioned medical marijuana programs, a federal Judge ruled on Monday the DEA must back-off raiding and shutting down medical marijuana collectives legally operating under California’s Prop 215, first passed in 1996.

Charles Breyer, U.S. District Judge

Charles Breyer, U.S. District Judge (Photo Courtesy of SFGate Blog)

Starting the week off on a high note, Charles Breyer, a U.S. District Judge from Northern California, admonished the DEA with a ruling critical of the agency for its systematical harassment of the medical marijuana community. Citing last year’s Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, Judge Breyer noted it prevents the use of any government funds from being utilized for such actions.

Representing the first ruling of its kind by a federal judge, this decision safeguards all state marijuana laws. Preventing the DOJ (Department of Justice) from spending any of our tax dollars to bust legal dispensaries or MMJ patients in any of the 23 states that have voter approved medical marijuana programs.

According to

” Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. district court in northern California disagreed with the DEA memo, writing in his decision that the department’s interpretation of the law “defies language and logic” and is “at odds with fundamental notions of the rule of law.” Instead, the court sided with the dispensaries, saying the department could not interfere with medical marijuana providers operating legally under state regulations.”

MAMM vs USDOJ – Charles R. Breyer ruling to lift injunction

Lynette Shaw, owner of Fairfax’s Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana

Lynette Shaw, owner of Fairfax’s Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (Photo Courtesy of MarinIJ)

The recent ruling involves the case of Lynette Shaw, owner of Fairfax’s Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana. Shaw was originally forced to close her shop four years ago after the Department of Justice decided to make an example of her –– issuing a federal cease and desist order against her dispensary.

While the feds claim they were dazed and confused over the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, not sure whether it was meant to stop the DOJ from spending taxpayer cash to crush marijuana related businesses and prosecute patients in medical marijuana states – or simply cut off any federal funding that would discourage states from legalizing medical marijuana.

Attempting to justify their position earlier this year, the Justice Department told The LA Times the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment only stops the feds from “Impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws,” leaving individuals within the medical marijuana community open to prosecution.

Thanks to Judge Breyer’s recent moral epiphany – – and clarifying that congressional law “forbids the Department of Justice from enforcing this injunction against MAMM to the extent that MAMM operates in compliance with state California law” – – the Justice Department may find themselves strapped for cash during their next attempt at circumventing state law and ignoring an individuals civil liberties.

(Main Photo Courtesy of the Huffington Post)

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Marijuana Industry News March 8, 2013

white house

Ex-DEA Officials Pressure White House to Go After New Recreational Marijuana States…

As we have previously reported at, federal authorities have remained relatively quiet on the issue of legal marijuana ever since the voters of Colorado and Washington state decided to legalize recreational use.  The issue is gaining national acceptance as a recent Reason/Rupe poll suggested that 72% of Americans do not think marijuana users should be arrested.  The poll also found that 68% of respondents do not feel growers should be arrested.  Fifty three percent of those included in the national poll said they felt marijuana should be regulated in a similar fashion to alcohol.  Even with swelling public support, former DEA officials are trying to convince the federal government to overpower Colorado and Washington.  The retired DEA members feel that if the feds do not act now, they may lose the issue forever.  Peter Bensinger, a former DEA administrator recently told the Associated  Press that “My fear is that the Justice Department will do what they are doing now: Do nothing and say nothing.  If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months.”  In a country where consensus is becoming a rare phenomenon, these soaring levels of support may already have signaled the point of no return.  As we start to feel the impact of sequestration and lack of compromise, DEA officials may find it a tough sell to continue using tax dollars to go after marijuana users and growers.  Additionally, federal law is actually preventing billions in potential tax revenue that is desperately needed.


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New Jersey Lawmakers Seeking to Keep Medical Marijuana Patients on Organ Transplant List…

Many lawmakers around the United States have long snickered at medical marijuana.  The easy and quick analysis is that it MUST be front a for those looking to circumvent the law.  However, for many this is the most serious issue they have ever encountered in their life.  As millions worldwide have improved their quality of life with medical marijuana use, naïve talking point politicians have been slow to research the issue.  One major problem for elderly medical marijuana patients is that they typically taken off organ recipient lists.  This places them in a difficult situation.  How does one value the long term (needed organ transplant) over the short term (immediate daily pain relieved by cannabis)?  New Jersey is attempting to fix this before it becomes a major issue in the Garden State.  Earlier this week, New Jersey’s Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee passed S-1220.  The panel stated that S-1220 “would provide that a registered, qualifying patient’s authorized use of medical marijuana would be considered equivalent to using other prescribed medication rather than an illicit substance and therefore would not disqualify the person from needed medical care, such as an organ transplant.”  It took New Jersey several years to cut through their bureaucratic red tape and institute a medical marijuana program passed under previous Governor, Jim Corzine.  However, it is reassuring to see that they are taking a compassionate approach with this issue.  In a press release by the bill’s co-sponsors, lawmakers said that removing patients from the organ recipient list because of medical marijuana use is a practice that is “unconscionable as the patients have followed their doctors’ orders and have taken a legal medication to reduce the pain and suffering associated with their illness. Transplant centers should not be able to discriminate against people for using this prescription pain killer.”


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Michigan Judge Rules that Medical Marijuana Patients Cannot be Denied Unemployment Benefits…

The story above highlighted a victory for patients in New Jersey.  We also have good news to report for those patients in Michigan.  Last August, a Michigan court ruled that the Michigan Marijuana Act of 2008 “does not offer any employment protection to card holders” and “does not regulate private employment.”  In September the decision was upheld when former Walmart employee, Joseph Casias, was let go for marijuana use even as he was suffering from an inoperable brain tumor.  He was also denied benefits after being let go.  This week, Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette ruled that medical marijuana patients can receive unemployment benefits after termination of employment.  Medical marijuana has had a wild ride in Michigan over the course of the past several years since it was legalized in 2008. Even as Michigan lawmakers and state Attorney General, Bill Schuette, try to fight against medical marijuana, residents have made it clear they support a patient’s right to use medical cannabis.  Michigan has some of the most progressive medical marijuana laws and is one of the only states that allows for minors to receive legal marijuana for certain qualifying conditions.


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Large Marijuana Grow Found in Plain Sight Within Chicago City Limits…


Marijuana grows are located by authorities with great frequency.  A simple Google search using the key word “marijuana” will almost always quickly produce many stories where authorities have discovered large scale grows.  Even as this is occurring regularly, authorities still seemed to be baffled at how widespread marijuana is.  While the reports seem to indicate some sort of victory by law enforcement, they are only revealing a drop in the bucket.  For every illegal grow discovered there are countless that they will not find.  This is to be expected as an outdated approach can only yield outdated results.

The desperate need for cannabis regulation cannot be more clear after we learned of a developing story in America’s third largest city, Chicago.  Authorities found rows of marijuana plants, with many being 10 feet tall, lined in a space located just off the Bishop Ford Freeway.  Edward Graney of the Cooke County Sheriff’s Police Department noticed a patch of lime green while on a routine helicopter flight.  He said “I never thought I’d see something like this.”  Barely believing the location and size of the operation Graney went on to say “When I walked in there to get my head around this, I couldn’t believe how big it was, I was in shock. Basically, someone put 1,500 plants in the middle of an industrial park.”

As government officials still hope for a naturally growing plant to simply disappear off the face of the earth, their approach seems sillier by the day.  The field off the Chicago highway was estimated to contain as much as $10 million of street valued marijuana.  These illegal grows will never be taxed and often it is difficult to even ascertain who is behind the operation.  The size and location of plants found shows that those growing are not exactly living in fear of authorities.  If one of the world’s largest metropolitan area is now considered a safe place to grow marijuana in the open, what hope does law enforcement have of uncovering grows deep in the woods of rural areas?

Police and DEA officials are left without the ability to enforce marijuana policy.  Of course it is not the fault of individual agents.  Would we hand modern physicians tools from last century and demand cutting edge results?  Regulation and legal economics offer the only plausible way to move forward.  If marijuana were regulated within the United States, the need for a black market would quickly dissipate.  Once the economics and demand are damaged, illegal drug trafficking simply will not offer lucrative rewards.  Those new lucrative rewards could be redistributed toward tax payers or for repairing our crumbling bridges and infrastructure.  That would also result in putting many of the currently 7.8% of our population who find themselves unemployed.  For those serious about keeping marijuana away from children and restoring our economic prosperity should be shocked at the decades long failure that has produced an even larger and more dangerous unregulated marijuana market.

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Rough Election For Paul Ryan

paul ryan

The race for the U.S. presidency can consume and spit out candidates.  The young boy wonder Paul Ryan has been a rising star in the GOP and Congress for almost 14 years.  However, joining Mitt Romney in the race for the White House may drive down his stock considerably.  Already responding to criticisms of misstatements after his address at the RNC regarding welfare and Medicare, the news just has not been great for Ryan.

Clearly Ryan and Romney are not on the same page.  Romney selected a man known as a budget hawk, but has not embraced what Ryan believes.  In fact Mitt Romney seems to be running from his record.  Recently Mitt Romeny told “Meet The Press” that President Obama and the GOP (lead by Ryan on the issue) were wrong to vote to cut military spending.  The lack of unity was on display recently as Paul Ryan told a group of voters in Colorado that he felt marijuana laws should be left up to the states to decide.  This was soon followed by a statement from the Romney campaign that indicated that Ryan agreed with Mitt Romney 100% and that marijuana should never be legalized.

We do not want to pick on Paul Ryan specifically, but so far he is the only one who has dared engage on the issue of marijuana.  Even though marijuana legalization offers the potential to satisfy Paul Ryan’s desire to cut spending and the size of government, we were still surprised to hear him support the issue.  We were NOT surprised to see the Romney campaign recant a statement.  They seem to have made an art of this.

The Paul Ryan statement that seemed to come from left field motivated to dig a little deeper into Paul Ryan’s view on marijuana.  The digging did not require much effort and we were able to figure out that as recently as May of this year, Paul Ryan voted against a bill that would have defunded the DEA’s ability conduct medical marijuana raids.  Not exactly a pro state rights view is it?

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Medical Marijuana Industry News September 14, 2012


New Bills In Congress Would Allow States to Decide Medical Marijuana…

As detailed often on, one of the biggest concerns for the medical marijuana industry is that is in a state of legislative limbo.  Patients are often left to wonder if they will have access to their medication.  Additionally, dispensaries face many difficulties operating in under the current system.  For the most part they are prevented from utilizing bank accounts or credit unions.  This results in high levels of marijuana and cash on premises, and dramatically increases the likelihood of being robbed.  Additionally, these businesses cannot benefit from the tax code or deduct expenses, making their survival challenging.  Several new laws in Congress have been introduced that would actually address these concerns.  Three different bills, HB 1983, HB1984, and HB1985, would allow dispensaries to take advantage of electronic banking, tax deductions, and would allow states to decide if they wish to permit medical marijuana by re-scheduling marijuana.  While similar bills have failed previously, there seems to be more bi-partisan support than ever for re-hauling the government’s approach toward medical marijuana.  While support was previously higher from Democrats, they have now been joined by fiscally conservatives who no longer want to see funds wasted on DEA raids.  Additionally, there is a growing call for returning many rights back to the states.


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Two Marijuana Dispensaries to Open in Vermont…

The federal crackdown and raids on marijuana dispensaries may not be producing the intended outcomes, especially in the Northeast.  In recent months, Connecticut has approved a measure to permit medical marijuana and even under the well known Republican Governor, Chris Christie (who does not support the program) New Jersey is close to dispensing marijuana to patients.  There is momentum across the country as Detroit, the state of Washington, Colorado, and Oregon will see their residents vote to regulate and legalize even recreation marijuana use.  A successful ballot initiative has also given residents of Arkansas the opportunity to vote on enacting a medical marijuana program.  In Vermont, two marijuana dispensaries have been given the green light to open.  One of the dispensaries will be located in Burlington while another will open its doors in Waterbury.  Vermont legalized medical marijuana in 2004 but patients are responsible for growing and cultivating their own medicine.  Patients in Vermont can possess up to 2 ounces and own 3 plants.  Last year Vermont lawmakers passed a new law that would allow up to 4 dispensaries to open.  The two dispensaries are expected to open in 6 months with additional applications to fill the other 2 openings under review.


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Seattle’s Children’s Alliance Supports Marijuana Legalization Initiative…

Supporting marijuana reform was previously career suicide in the public arena. Over the past few years there have been surprising supporters of marijuana reform including televangelist Pat Robertson and Progressive Insurance Chairman Peter B. Lewis.  However, an even more surprising group of supporters have revealed themselves.  A Seattle based non-profit group named The Children’s Alliance has come out in support of Initiative 502, which if passed by Washington State residents, would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in a way that is similar to how alcohol is handled.  The group’s main focus is on protecting children’s futures.  Although whites and African Americans consume marijuana at similar rates, non whites are significantly more at risk for being arrested for it.  Often these arrests are of teens and having a criminal record can seriously jeopardize their ability to get a job, housing, or gain college acceptance.  Jon Gould, Deputy Director of The Children’s Alliance said “The status quo is not working for children, particularly children of color. Public policy ought to move us further toward racial equity and justice, and Initiative 502 is one step forward to that.”


For more on this story click here

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Attorney General Eric Holder Pressured by Ex-DEA Officials To Oppose State Marijuana Laws

eric holder

After years of foreign wars, the Patriot Act, and an unpopular healthcare mandate, voters are weary of big government proposals.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle are quick to point out that they want to reduce the size and scale of government, even if their actions betray this sentiment.  The idea of letting states decide many issues has gained traction, with one major exception.  Marijuana.

Approximately 75% of Americans support a physician’s right to prescribe medical marijuana.  Even more interestingly, is that now over half of the country supports legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana even for recreational use.  Three states, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon will have residents in their states voting to enact such plans.  Of course we all know the people simply passing the law may not end the ongoing feud between federal and state authorities.  The problem the White House faces is that they have tried to make the case that they will not use any federal resources to circumvent state law.  This leaves them with trying to apply federal law only when a dispensary is in violation of state law, as confusing as that sounds.

This approach is being challenged by 9 former heads of the DEA.  Attorney General Eric Holder has not publicly indicated how the federal government would handle a situation where states operate legal marijuana sales.  His silence has drawn the ire of those who feel the federal government needs to take a more definitive stand and send out a message that federal law trumps state law.  Holder has spoken out on previous legalization initiatives.  He indicated that he would enforce federal law in California in 2010 if residents voted to legalize marijuana.  In the letter, obtained by news outlet Reuters, the group said that “To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.”

Of course taking a stand against laws voted on and enacted by the people offers its own set of “dangerous initiatives”.  No administration wants to be known as the White House crushed state laws and the will of the people.  The old system has failed and while many of us understand that federal authorities have to carry out the law, there is a chance of overreaching here.  A war between residents and the federal government on this issue could be one of the highest profile examples of the government ignoring the will of the people.  Even those who do not support marijuana legalization may be outraged at such large scale intervention.  With most Americans feeling the war on drugs is a failure, spending more money and resources to keep the antiquated approach alive could be a disaster as small government fans, fiscal hawks, civil rights groups, and medical supporters could all find themselves coming together over the issue.

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Feds May Not Be Able to Flex Muscles After New State Laws

juice head

Similar to an annoying gym rat who screams as he exhales while hogging up any full body mirrors, our federal government acts like a “juicehead”, usually eager to show off and flex any chance it gets.  We witnessed this during the medical marijuana raids of the Clinton and G.W. Bush presidencies but in 2008 we were then promised newer and smarter ideas.  We were promised a fully body approach complete with calisthenics and nutritional eating.  However, despite such claims we find ourselves back to square one, paying taxes to a government that is more concerned with feeding its inflating ego and only working out its upper body.  Last fall, dispensary raids conducted a rate previously unseen.

Recently, 23 medical marijuana businesses in Washington were sent threatening letters from the DEA, informing them they would have to shut down or face prosecution.  The letters were sent out to dispensaries that are in violation of Washington state law as they are operating within school zones.  Matthew G. Barnes, of Seattle’s DEA sent the letters which asked dispensaries to “Please take the necessary steps to discontinue the sale and/or distribution of marijuana…within 30 days.”

While the federal government has made it clear they would like to dismantle the entire medical marijuana program, they have chosen a careful route in doing so.  Because they do not want to be accused of interfering with state laws, they so far claim to only target dispensaries that are in violation of state law.  Many feel that threats to Harborside Health and other high profile California collectives had nothing to do with state law.  In addition to the comments included above, Mr. Barnes made statements that did not seem to be concerned with upholding Washington State law as he said “The DEA will not turn a blind eye to criminal organizations that attempt to use state or local law as a shield for their illicit drug trafficking activities.”

The statement actually seems to insinuate that these collectives were attempting to “traffic drugs” at a profit and that respecting state laws had little to do with the decision.  Of course anytime the White House is challenged on the issue they still maintain that they only get involved once state laws are broken.  This is a statement that could soon backfire as three states will allow its residents to vote on totally legalizing marijuana, even for recreational use.  How sacred will state law be to the feds if Washington, Oregon, or Colorado or all three legalize marijuana?  Will the feds continue to flex their muscle and admit their disregard for state laws after using it as their defense for so long?  Will they try to be more subtle, or will they walk away from the mirror and try to use all of their resources and strength to help instead of harm?

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