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Campaign to Overturn Federal Cannabis Prohibition Dismissed By District Court

A legal campaign to overturn the federal prohibition of cannabis has been dismissed by a US state court, ruling that only the Supreme Court could make such a decision.

In May, Business of Cannabis reported that four leading Massachusetts-based cannabis companies had hired prominent litigator David Boies to help overturn a 2005 Supreme Court ruling.

Boies was hired by a collective of companies led by Verano Holdings Corp, alongside Massachusetts based businesses Canna Provisions, Wiseacre Farm, and Treevit CEO Gyasi Sellers.

He was tasked with revisiting the case of Gonzales v. Raich in which it was ruled that federal prohibition must be maintained under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) so as to avoid interstate commerce.

In the case, which was submitted last October, they argue that ongoing federal cannabis prohibition lacks a rational basis, especially considering the increasing number of states legalizing and regulating marijuana.

However, as suggested back in May by the Massachusetts District Judge, Mark Mastoianni, the decision was found to be ‘beyond the authority of this court to grant’.

Judge Mastoianni also pushed back on claims that the ban violated businesses due-process rights, stating that there is ‘simply no precedent’ for concluding that the companies have a fundamental right to cultivate and sell cannabis.

However, he suggested that the businesses could take their arguments to the Supreme Court, and the plaintiffs’ representative suggested that the results were expected, and that they planned to launch an appeal.

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