The undersigned author has been engaged in the pharmaceutical industry for almost two decades. We have been waging necessary wars battling the FDA, USDA, Big & Small “Pharma,” Compounding entities and those monopolies that distribute for them. We have watched the entire spectrum of “pharmaceutical fraud” created simply because Big Pharma had the political and financial muscle to do so. Should you be a Ganja Law follower, you will recall that I have been warning the Cannabis and Hemp industry about the lurking hidden dangers of Big Pharma. The DEA is not our foremost concern; it is the Pharmaceutical Giants and Big Business such as the Monsanto’s of this world that have been stalking like hyenas to take from us what we have all worked so hard to gain.
As this is a blog, allow me to be brief yet concise. Around this great country of ours, States are passing legislation allowing for greater Hemp pilot programs and increased use and utilization of not only American grown Hemp but its derivatives, extracts and industrial applications and sales. Going soon before Congress is the 2017 Farm Bill that is asking Congress to please do what is right for our farmers, our Hemp industry, and our economy and take Big Pharma’s hand out of their pockets and allow the grass root movers to enjoy the “Hemp of their labor” finally. Such a passage would include the entitlement to sell Hemp and its derivatives, extracts and oils intra-state, free from DEA and other law enforcement intrusion. However, as I have warned, as I witnessed it first hand in the pharmaceutical industry, be careful what you wish for unless you have a plan in place all of the ways down the progression line. I promise you, not enough of us are watching or planning.
While we were fighting for this industry, created this industry, brought this once sacred plant, (a Native American sacrament), back from a once political death, Big Business and those lobbyists and politicians that feed on them, have been lurking behind the scenes as enemies at our gates; first in the hope that we fail, and alternatively vying to utilize the FDA and patent laws against us in the event we prevail.
It’s happening America. Our industry is going to be taken from us should we not join together and exercise all of our legal entitlements for yet another round of “Keep Hemp Great.” For those in the cannabis industry, you are warned as Pfizer is doing to THC what GW Pharmaceuticals is doing to CBD. Please join us at Team Ganja Law.
As Ganja Law and its Consultants are deeply rooted in the great State of Colorado we have been involved in every aspect of the Hemp industry and have been watching as Big Business and Big Pharma have been tying up Hemp land, setting up research facilities, engaging in Confidentiality Agreements, and doing so through the use of unrecognized names, shielding their true identity. In many states, should you or I, (the little guy), create a company by use
Of a straw identity, we would be charged with a felony. The same law apparently doesn’t draw the prosecutors’ attention when done by Fortune 500 companies.
As reported this week by the Leafly, a company known as Greenwich Biosciences has retained the well-connected California-based lobbyist Kurt Sternbridge to help them in their secret endeavors. Who is Greenwich Biosciences? Greenwich Biosciences is none other than GW Pharmaceuticals – the United Kingdom-based pharmaceutical giant who seems to have taken favor to our soil and get back at us for throwing our tea party.
And where has Greenwich Biosciences sought to begin their masked campaign to take over and monopolize the Hemp industry? Kurt Sternbridge is to lobby the states of Arizona and Idaho, and possibly California. In Wisconsin, this straw company hired the lobbying firm, Martin Schreiber & Associates. In Florida, Douglas Russell, a former top official with the state’s health care industry was engaged, and Stephen J. Buckner was hired in Washington State. In Minnesota, the company retained Randy Morris.
And for how has Greenwich Biosciences began? This past December, they quietly caused the introduction of State House legislation in Nebraska and South Dakota. If passed by the legislatures and signed into law, these bills could have material implications for the legality and availability of CBD products. The two bills, which are essentially identical to each other, would give GW Pharmaceuticals a monopoly for the sale of products that include CBD in those states. Presently neither of these two states has any permissible Cannabis or Hemp industry, making their predatory and calculated actions easy to achieve as there is no organization to oppose them. South Dakota’s bill, SB 95, exempts CBD from the state definition of marijuana and moves it under state law, from a state-designated Schedule I drug to a Schedule IV substance.
What I would like you to understand is that the effect of this State legislation undertaken by GW Pharmaceuticals, notice that I am not saying Greenwich, affects only drugs that contain CBD that has received federal approval by the FDA. Epidiolex, manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, is currently the only plant-derived CBD drug close to obtaining FDA approval. If we do not intervene now, GW Pharmaceuticals just might obtain a monopoly on the sale of products containing CBD.
It’s clear that GW Pharmaceutical’s lobbyists acted before FDA approval of the company’s drug, Epidiolex for Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of childhood epilepsy. Epidiolex is a plant-derived, CBD-based formulation that is currently completing Phase 3 trials under FDA protocols. FDA approval for Epidiolex could happen as early as this summer. Epidiolex is also undergoing FDA trials for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The FDA approval of Epidiolex to treat one or two rare forms of syndromes might prevent an entire Hemp industry from flourishing and allow GW Pharmaceuticals to monopolize the market for CBD formulations.
Upon the FDA approval of Epidiolex, the FDA could issue cease and desist orders to anyone selling products containing CBD for health, wellness, or medical purposes. This would
Include companies, such as dispensaries or on-line virtual stores or even present CBD producing companies that are selling products containing CBD in states where such sales are currently permissible. If the FDA is not enough, GW could take legal action against any company or person infringing on its patents or selling any product containing CBD.
To our friends and fellow industry grass rooters, Please wake up, please understand that the legalization of both the Cannabis and Hemp market comes at a higher price than anticipated. Big business and Government, which once called cannabis “the Devil’s weed,” now fully intends on profiting from it. With the US Patent Office and the FDA’s help, Big Pharma could soon control “the Devil’s Weed,” now that they can draw a profit from it. Apparently, now that it can be shown as profitable, Big Pharma finally shall admit that cannabis is good for us.
Please contact Ganjalaw.com; FaceBook @Ganjalaw_com, if you would like to support this cause and protect our industry.
Craig A. Brand, Esq.