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.
On Wednesday, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) disclosed a memo that seemed to have been used by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to justify delaying approval of additional marijuana manufacturers for research purposes beyond the sole legal that scientists have had to rely on for half a century. That disclosure was the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by SRI last month.
Attorneys representing SRI said that the newly unveiled document helps explains what was happening behind closed doors for several years of inaction and delays after DEA initially said in 2016 that it would be approving more manufacturers.