DEA licensing marijuana farms
May 29, 2011
Despite the federal government’s staunch opposition to medical marijuana, the Drug Enforcement Administration has licensed 55 pharmaceutical companies to grow cannabis for use in producing generic versions of the THC capsule Marinol, according to the East Bay Express.
Marinol was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1985 as a treatment for the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. However, it was never that popular with cancer patients who said THC-only Marinol didn’t provide the same relief as smoking pot, which contains 66 different canabinoids.
But Marinol is about to get a big boost. Its patent has recently expired, and a review of clinical human trials show sixteen studies under way that, if successful, would broaden generic Marinol’s uses considerably beyond treating nausea in cancer patients, said the East Bay Express.
Proponents of medical cannabis question how the DEA can license big-pharmaceutical companies to cultivate pot while fighting against the sale of medical marijuana.
“They’ve got to realize, as a political issue, this is going to raise a red flag,” said Kris Hermes, spokesperson for medical marijuana lobby Americans for Safe Access, to the East Bay Express. “Here we have companies cultivating marijuana on a mass scale to produce generic Marinol. It’s going to force the government to answer more questions than it wants to.”