U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz found it hypocritical that while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) approves cannabis compound imports from Canada for research, it denies approval for American cannabis manufacturers for similar requests in the same breath.
University of California, San Diego researchers will be importing cannabis capsules from Canadian cannabis company, Tilray Inc., now that the DEA recently granted them approval to import the goods for medical cannabis research. The move sent Tilray’s stocks skyrocketing, but the bubble didn’t last long after a rollercoaster-like week in the stock market. But why import Canadian cannabis, Gaetz asks, when U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions routinely refuses to approve American companies for similar requests?
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
Gaetz didn’t hold back when he explained the current situation. “We just have to be not so stupid as to impair our own progress,” Gaetz told MarketWatch. “There is no reason for us to be creating wealth in Canada for cannabis companies by importing Canadian weed.”
Other notable Republicans have also asked Sessions to stop blocking medical cannabis research, such as Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch. According to Hatch, Sessions has blocked at least 25 American cannabis companies from manufacturing cannabis for federal research on medical cannabis.
“Buy American” is one of the Republican party’s key platforms, but the U.S. government is definitely not buying American when it comes to cannabis. Gaetz has been fighting for medical cannabis reform in Florida, and has put a lot of focus on the need to remove barriers on medical cannabis research.
Tilray representatives agreed with Gaetz and expressed a desire to invest in future projects inside the United States. It’s illogical to reason that imported Canadian cannabis products are somehow more legally sound than American cannabis products.