U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), who has worked to spearhead legislation in his home state, has lambasted the DEA decision to import CBD and THC capsules from Canada instead of sourcing them from a U.S.-based company, according to MarketWatch.
Earlier this week, Canadian cannabis producer Tilray announced it had received the go-ahead from U.S. officials to import medical cannabis products for an upcoming cannabis study at UC San Diego. Rep. Gaetz, upset by the decision, fumed publicly on Twitter.
Unbelievable…#DEA gives approval to import #cannabis compounds from Canada, while AG Sessions is sitting on 2 dozen+ applications from domestic manufacturers. What happened to “buy American, hire American”?https://t.co/SAiftyoN32
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 19, 2018
Currently, the University of Mississippi is the only federally licensed entity that can grow research-grade cannabis. However, there are dozens of research cannabis cultivation license applications on hold at the DEA right now and Rep. Gaetz — who has repeatedly called for further cannabis research — said the agency’s trepidation is blocking progress for the nation’s most rapidly growing industry.
“We just have to be not so stupid as to impair our own progress,” he told MarketWatch. “There is no reason for us to be creating wealth in Canada for cannabis companies by importing Canadian weed.”
Tilray — which is owned by U.S.-based Privateer Holdings, the parent company behind Leafly, Marley Natural, and several other major cannabis brands — did not push back on Rep. Gaetz’s concerns.
“If Congress changes the law to allow for commercially feasible production of pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis, we’d be thrilled to create jobs and invest in the U.S. just like we have in Canada. We agree with Representative Gaetz that the U.S. federal government should enable instead of impede this rapidly growing, global and innovative industry.” — Zack Hutson, Tilray spokesperson, via MarketWatch