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DEA Threatens Georgia Pharmacies Over Dispensing Medical Marijuana Under State Law

Georgia recently became the first U.S. state to allow pharmacies to sell medical marijuana, with nearly 120 facilities applying to sell cannabis oil as of October. But now the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning pharmacies that dispensing THC is unlawful because it remains a Schedule I drug.

“All DEA registrants, including DEA-registered pharmacies, are required to abide by all relevant federal laws and regulations,” says a copy of a letter sent to a Georgia pharmacy by Matthew J. Strait, a DEA deputy assistant administrator in the agency’s Diversion Control Division. “A DEA-registered pharmacy may only dispense controlled substances in Schedules II-V of the Controlled Substances Act. Neither marijuana nor THC can lawfully be possessed, handled, or dispensed by any DEA-registered pharmacy.”

The letter, dated November 27, was first posted online by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an anti-cannabis advocacy group. DEA did not immediately respond to emails from Marijuana Moment attempting to confirm its authenticity.

One potential complicating factor around DEA’s advisory is a congressional budget rider that prevents the the Department of Justice from spending resources to interfere with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. The provision was first enacted into law in 2014 and was

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