Chuck Rosenberg, top dog at the Drug Enforcement Administration will be resigning, effective this Sunday, October 1st. When Rosenberg called medical marijuana ‘a joke,' patients responded in force demanding his resignation. Now that we've got it - what does it mean for the marijuana industry?
To give a short answer - Rosenberg's resignation probably can't hurt the marijuana industry. As mentioned above, Rosenberg was clearly not a weed supporter. "What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal -- because it's not," Rosenberg said in a briefing to reporters.
As an added layer of protection against whoever takes Rosenberg's place, the federal budget approved earlier this month extended federal protections for state-legalized medical marijuana patients and providers - essentially blocking the DEA from pursuing them.
Rosenberg has served in his position since 2015, when he took over for then-DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart following a series of scandals. During the Obama administration, Rosenberg and his team not only denied millions of patients access to medical marijuana but also pushed to keep cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, including all extracts such as CBD.
As the Trump administration deals with the ongoing opioid crisis and an increased number of states in support of the miracle plant, will there be any shift in the push towards the legalization or at least re-scheduling of marijuana?
Jeffrey Zucker, President of Green Lion Partners stated, "the resignation of a man who referred to medicinal cannabis as "a joke" is a welcome one, although it comes with potential perils. Rosenberg's chosen successor could have a major impact on the industry, which will collectively be waiting with bated breath to learn the identity of his replacement and his or her stance on cannabis. It's a prudent time to appoint someone who acknowledges scientific facts and understands the damages and vast impact of the Drug War and why it isn't working."
It is not certain who will replace Rosenberg but the ongoing debate over the nation’s drug laws will have a major pull in nominees to fill the top DEA slot, including rumored New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes.
"The next head of the DEA now has the responsibility to bridge the gap between outdated policy and public opinion so we can grow the next great American industry." replied John Ryan, Co-Founder of Ananda Hemp.
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