An explanation for the federal cannabis crackdown?

Many of us have been wondering why the federal government—specifically, the Department of Justice, including the federal attorney in Northern California—decided a few months ago to crack down in a big way on dispensaries and collectives doing business under California’s medicinal cannabis access law. And now, what may be an explanation. According to a report from the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, the federal government, which holds Patent #6630507 on the use of cannabinoids as “antioxidants and neuroprotectants,” is planning to assign exclusive rights to the use of medicinal marijuana to a pharmaceutical company.

You read that correctly: It appears the federal government holds the patent on medicinal marijuana for particular uses—antioxidants and neuroprotectants treat a wide range of diseases and medical conditions—and seems to be planning to grant exclusive use of that patent to one company. Oh, and comment period for that exclusive grant of patent rights expires on December 19—which is, uh, today. Well, gosh, that kinda puts a possible new spin on the federal crackdowns’ timing, doesnt it? And it sorta makes it look like the federal government isn’t really opposed to (a) using cannabis as a medical treatment for certain diseases and conditions, and (b) making a little money off said cannabis. Instead, it seems that what the federal government is actually opposed to is small businesses and individuals being the ones to make a living providing medicinal cannabis to other people.

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