A cannabis activist from Iowa is suing the state’s governor based on the argument that the state’s Department of Health has taken too long to request for the federal exemption of the state’s medical marijuana program from the DEA as stipulated in a legislation that was signed in 2020. Carl Olsen claimed that Gov. Kim Reynolds had failed to make sure that the law was effectively carried out, adding that the state should submit a federal exemption request for its medical marijuana program promptly.
Olsen filed the suit in a district court in the state a few days ago.
The law that was signed last year by Reynolds states that the department should request for guarantees from the federal government agencies that provide funding to long-term care and educational facilities that allow staff to administer medical marijuana or patients to possess medical marijuana in compliance with Iowa’s program.
In a report that was released last year, regulators revealed that the department would work on obtaining an exception for marijuana from the DEA, given that marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 substance, to help minimize the conflict between federal and state law. However, since then, the department has not made any progress on the matter, apart from releasing a statement in February this year noting that it was still assessing the best way to proceed.
In 2020, the DEA turned down an exemption request submitted by Olsen. However, he’s hopeful that with the state now formally involved, the result will be different. DEA regulations state that while the agency’s administrator has the power to grant an exemption at their discretion, they are under no obligation to grant an exception to any individual as is otherwise required by the regulations or by law.
Olsen has asked the court to order the governor to execute her role in making sure that a federal exemption request is submitted. The suit notes that failure to do so is contrary to public interest, adding that obtaining a guarantee would help alleviate the severe threat to public safety that is created by approving the establishment of the state’s medical marijuana program without putting in the needed effort to acquire an exemption from federal drug law.
Apart from this development, legislators in Iowa have been looking into different ways to improve upon the current medical cannabis law, with one legislation set to decrease provider and patient fees having already been presented to a subcommittee.
Fortunately for patients in Iowa and elsewhere, a number of entities, including XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT), are conducting clinical trials on drug formulations made from cannabis. If the trials are successful, regulators such as the FDA would approve those drugs for use by patients who need those medicines.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/XPHYF
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