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DEA Warns Traditional Pharmacies in Georgia to Stop Selling Cannabis Oil, Bipartisan Congressional Legislation to Deschedule Cannabis Introduced, and Marijuana MSOs Will Be Allowed to Enter NY Market at the End of December

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DEA Warns Traditional Pharmacies in Georgia to Stop Selling Cannabis Oil

In June, the Georgia Board of Pharmacy approved a new rule that would allow traditional, independent pharmacies in the state to sell low-THC medical marijuana oil. Governor Brian Kemp signed off on the new rule. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which has mostly refrained from interfering in any individual state’s marijuana regulations, issued a warning to DEA-registered pharmacies in Georgia reminding them that marijuana sale and possession is federally illegal. The notice came from the DEA’s Diversion Control Division and was officially dated November 27, which is approximately one month after at least three independent pharmacies in the state began selling low-THC marijuana oil. The timing of the warning is interesting as the DEA is currently deciding whether to reschedule cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3. 

Bipartisan Congressional Legislation to Deschedule Cannabis Introduced

A bipartisan congressional bill that would permit individual cannabis markets to govern their cannabis regulations and remove state-legal marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was reintroduced this week. The bill was originally introduced in 2019 in both chambers and was called the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act. The 2019 version of the STATES Act did not receive a hearing in Congress. If the legislation were to pass and be signed into law by President Biden, it would remove cannabis that is produced and sold in accordance with state and tribal regulations from the CSA. It would also legalize interstate commerce. While there is currently a federal review to reschedule cannabis, the STATES Act goes a bit further in terms of protecting the will of individual states. 

Marijuana MSOs Will Be Allowed to Enter NY Market at the End of December

Marijuana multi-state operators with current medical cannabis licenses are officially allowed to enter New York’s legal market beginning December 29. The Cannabis Control Board’s decision to allow MSOs to enter the market comes on the heels of the December 1st ruling by the State Supreme Court to lift an injunction that kept officials from issuing any more recreational cannabis business licenses. The CCB approved six MSOs to begin sales at the end of the year, ending the three-year waiting period that was originally in place for vertically integrated MMJ companies, also known as registered organizations (ROs). (ROs are New York’s version of multi-state operators.) The waiting period was proposed to give social equity licensees and smaller businesses a leg up, but the Office of Cannabis Management moved to allow ROs to enter the market sooner to help expand retail cannabis access throughout the state.