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US Cannabis Companies Bring Legal Challenge Against Federal Prohibition

A group of leading US cannabis companies is suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the country-wide prohibition of cannabis.

The group, led by Verano Holdings Corp, also includes Massachusetts based businesses Canna Provisions, Wiseacre Farm, and Treevit CEO Gyasi Sellers.

According to Law 360, who first reported the case, the group is basing its case on a 2005 Supreme Court decision in 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.

They argue that ongoing federal cannabis prohibition lacks a rational basis, especially considering the increasing number of states legalizing and regulating marijuana.

They argue that enforcing marijuana prohibition in state markets is unconstitutional, creating public safety risks and hindering licensed cannabis operators from accessing critical financial services and tax deductions.

“In the two decades since Raich, all the legislative and operative facts on which Raich‘s conclusion rested have changed,” the lawsuit said.

“It is therefore necessary to assess Congress’s regulation of intrastate marijuana based on the new regulatory framework and new factual circumstances.”

It adds that ‘over three dozen states permit medical marijuana and twenty-four states (representing most of the nation’s population) permit adult-use marijuana’, while calling the CSA ‘an aberration, not consistent with the nation’s practices at the founding, nor at the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, when marijuana was widely used for medical and recreational purposes.’

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