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420 with CNW — Marijuana Biopharmaceutical Company Takes DEA to Court for Hindering its Cultivation Plans

In a fresh lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), MMJ BioPharma Cultivation, a marijuana company based in Rhode Island, is seeking to halt an administrative law judge’s review of its application to produce cannabis for research.

The lawsuit contends that DEA director Anne Milgram unlawfully appointed administrative law Judge Teresa Wallbaum. The company argues that this action violates the constitutionality of the process and the decision-maker involved, as well as lacks accountability to the president. The lawsuit names DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, DEA Administrative Law Judge Teresa Wallbaum, the DOJ and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland as defendants.

The company submitted its application to legally cultivate cannabis for research in 2018 to create clinical trials medicines addressing conditions such as Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis. However, it claims that despite applying five years ago, it has faced delays and uncertainties from the DEA leading to significant negative impacts on its operations, including the inability to expand its workforce and the loss of revenue.

Despite the legal action, Wallbaum stated that given the available facts and unique circumstances, a stay seemed appropriate. Highlighting MMJ’s challenge to the tribunal’s jurisdiction under Axon, which allows federal courts to handle structural challenges, she indicated that this presents a complex issue affecting the DEA’s possibility of success. Moreover, she referred to the Axon court’s decision, underscoring that exposing a party to legal proceedings carried out within an unconstitutional framework could itself amount to legal harm.

During recent committee hearings in Congress, Congressman Earl Blumenauer raised concerns about medical marijuana research and treatment delays. He noted that delays such as MMJ’s had an impact on Biden’s administration.

The company’s president, Duane Boise, condemned the DEA’s action, accusing the agency of impeding cannabis research. He underlined that even while MMJ complies with the law, the DEA has not, which has resulted in hardship for patients in need as a result of inaction on the part of the government.

Attorney Tim Moynahan, who is also the company’s chair, expressed hope that by challenging the DEA’s constitutionality while offering a path for correction, this case would be resolved. He urged the DEA to settle the matter, especially considering MMJ’s crucial role in developing drugs to aid patients with conditions such as Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

The scheduled hearing before the DEA administrative law judge on April 10, 2024, has been temporarily halted following the filing of the federal lawsuit.

For quite some time, complaints have persisted about the way the DEA handles applications related to marijuana research. The outcome of this lawsuit could play a role in bringing about some needed changes so that companies such as Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) can face fewer hurdles should they ever require DEA approval for any cannabis study that they wish to undertake.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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