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Cannabis Company Sues DEA Over 'Unconstitutional' Review Process

MMJ said its application to grow medical cannabis has been in limbo since 2018.

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Megan Sheehan and Associates, a law firm representing MMJ BioPharma Cultivation in an upcoming Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administrative law trial on regarding the company's DEA bulk manufacturing application to grow pharmaceutical marijuana, said it discovered that the DEA Director Anne Milgram illegally appointed the administrative law Judge Teresa Wallbaum hearing the case.

MMJ BioPharma filed for relief in Rhode Island federal court, seeking an order to halt the DEA's unconstitutional actions. Wallbaum opted to voluntarily stay the proceedings.

"Considering the unique circumstances and the available facts, a stay seems appropriate. MMJ's challenge to this tribunal's authority under Axon, which permits federal courts to address interlocutory structural challenges, presents a novel issue that complicates assessment of the DEA's likelihood of success," said Wallbaum in a statement. Furthermore, she cited the Axon court's ruling, emphasizing that subjecting a party to proceedings conducted within an unconstitutional structure could constitute legal harm in itself.

Since December 2018, MMJ BioPharma Cultivation has been awaiting DEA approval to legally cultivate marijuana for research and development for use in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical trials for conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease. The company claims that its applications have been in limbo with the DEA for more than five years, resulting in impacts on its business including inability to hire employees and loss of projected revenues.

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