DEA Agrees That Unregulated THC Oils Aren’t Medicine

Georgia Pharmacies Face Crackdown from Federal Agency for Acting as Pot Shops

(WASHINGTON, DC) – In the wake of the Georgia Board of Pharmacy’s rule changes that allows independent pharmacies to dispense THC oils, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a stern warning that “all DEA registrants, including DEA-registered pharmacies, are required to abide by all relevant federal laws and regulations.” 

In a memo emailed late last month to DEA registered pharmacies across the state, the agency stated unequivocally that “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.” 

Dr. Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug policy advisor to Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton and the president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM),issued the following statement applauding the DEA’s leadership to prevent Georgia pharmacies from acting as illegal pot shops: 

“The Georgia Pharmacy Board’s move to allow the sale of THC oils over the counter in drugstores is a disaster for public health because it implies an FDA endorsement of these dangerous, psychoactive products that can have very serious consequences for users, especially young people. The DEA’s repudiation of this policy is good news for consumers, and I applaud their affirming the federal government’s position that marijuana is not medicine. 

“As we’ve stated clearly throughout this debate, THC drugs are not medicine and federal law makes clear sales of marijuana and non-prescription THC drugs are illegal.The Board’s decision to allow pharmacies to dispense unregulated THC oils flies in the face of the position of every major medical association, Surgeons General appointed by both parties, the FDA, and the DEA. 

“Unlike with prescription medications, there is no legitimate dosing regimen or other quality control mechanism in place for these drugs. THC oils are often so high in potency that any level of consumption could be dangerous to physical and mental health. Pharmacies found to be violating federal law should be shut down immediately and face the harshest penalties under the law.”

Michael Mumper, Executive Director of Georgians for Responsible Marijuana Policy, concurred, saying, “Patients who get medication from their trusted pharmacists assume that those drugs are fully tested, FDA approved, legal at the federal level, and that their pharmacist has been fully trained and certified with drug dosage recommendations and potential drug interactions. None of this is true with marijuana.”