Posted on February 15th, 2024 by Canna Provisions

Boston Globe Editorial “Let’s Stop Treating Pot Like Heroin”

Boston Globe Editorial Board’s Perspective on Massachusetts Marijuana Industry’s Federal Challenges

The Massachusetts marijuana industry, represented by figures like Gyasi Sellers and Meg Sanders, faces significant federal legal challenges despite the state’s legalization of marijuana. These challenges stem from marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I substance under federal law, affecting businesses and individuals associated with the industry in various adverse ways. This is a summary of a recent February 13, 2024 Boston Globe Editorial Board feature tiled: “Let’s Stop Treating Pot Like Heroin“.

Screenshot of Boston Globe story "Let's Stop Treating Pot Like Heroin" online

Key Challenges Faced by Industry Participants

  • Gyasi Sellers’ Mission Hindered: Gyasi Sellers aims to serve communities impacted by the war on drugs and offer job training to ex-offenders. However, his business cannot access federal loans due to marijuana’s illegal status federally.
  • Canna Provisions and Meg Sanders’ Struggles: Meg Sanders, CEO of Canna Provisions, faces restrictions in job posting and workshop announcements due to federal funding connections. Employees suffer from banking and mortgage denials. Cannabis companies continue to be taxed at over 70% due to US IRS Tax Code 280E.

Federal Lawsuit and Legal Efforts

  • Plaintiffs’ Federal Lawsuit: Sellers and Sanders are part of a lawsuit against the US Justice Department, challenging federal restrictions in states where marijuana is legalized as unconstitutional.
  • Legal Arguments and Challenges: The lawsuit doesn’t aim to alter federal oversight of interstate commerce but to address federal restrictions as outdated. The complex legal battle is expected to extend over years.

Push for Reclassification of Marijuana

  • Efforts in Washington: There is momentum towards reclassifying marijuana to Schedule III, which would alleviate some federal restrictions. President Biden has called for a review of marijuana’s classification.
  • FDA’s Recommendation: Recent FDA findings support the reclassification of marijuana to Schedule III, highlighting its low risk of dependence and potential medical benefits.

State-Level Support and Economic Implications

  • Support from Attorneys General: AGs from states where marijuana is legal, including Massachusetts, advocate for rescheduling to enhance research and business operations.
  • Economic Impact: The marijuana industry is a significant economic force, with sales in Massachusetts reaching $1.56 billion in 2023. Legal changes are crucial for further growth and research.

Conclusion and Call to Action

The legal and economic landscape for marijuana in Massachusetts and across states where it is legal is at a pivotal juncture. The ongoing lawsuit and federal reclassification efforts are critical steps towards resolving the industry’s challenges. An expedited review and resolution by the DEA are essential for the industry’s future stability and growth.

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