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Why A Federally Licensed Marijuana Researcher Is Suing The DEA

The concern is that the research is compromised due to poor quality cannabis

Dr. Sue Sisley holds the rare distinction of being licensed by the Drug Enforcement Administration to study marijuana, so why is she suing the DEA over its marijuana research policies?

In June, Sisley’s Scottsdale Research Institute filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, asking that the Attorney General and the DEA be ordered to process its application to grow marijuana for clinical research. In the filing, Sisley claims that the DEA has created a monopoly around federally licensed marijuana research. By requiring that researchers only use marijuana from the University of Mississippi for their studies, she says, federally licensed marijuana researchers are limited to low-grade cannabis without proper variety.

Sisley, who’s received funding for her research from Colorado and recently completed a federal study about marijuana’s effects on military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder under the Food and Drug Administration, has complained about the quality of Ole Miss’s cannabis in the past. Now, she’s concerned that her study’s results may have been compromised by poor cannabis quality, explaining that the marijuana is far less potent than strains available in dispensaries or on the black market; the limited strains from Mississippi are also mixed together, which affects the quality of cannabis and correlations between strain and effect, she says.


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