Last Thursday, Sept. 2, was a rather busy news day in the cannabis and drug policy space, around our region and nationally. Here are three big stories you might have missed.
DRUG RAID IN OREGONThe Deschutes County Sheriff's Office in Central Oregon concluded a long-term investigation with the raid of a large, illegal cannabis grow operation just outside Bend last week. The sheriff's office said in a statement that the operation had nearly 50 greenhouses, nearly 3,000 pounds of processed cannabis and more than 9,000 individual plants.
The sheriff alleges that a Mexican cartel is behind the operation and was using migrant workers at the site as a source of involuntary labor. This is not the first cartel-affiliated cannabis grow operation to be busted in recent months. Officials in California seized $1.19 billion in cartel-grown cannabis this past July.
WHITE HOUSE EYES RESEARCHThe White House Office of National Drug Control Policy presented to Congress recommendations on, well, drug control policy last week. Mostly focused on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid considerably stronger and more dangerous than heroin, the recommendations also concern cannabis. Specifically, research into cannabis and other substances listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
The office is asking Congress to simplify the process researchers must follow in order to legally study substances listed in Schedule I. "The Biden-Harris Administration strongly supports expanding the research of Schedule I substances to help advance evidence-based public policy," the statement says.
PSILOCYBIN ON THE NINTH CIRCUIT
Interest in psilocybin therapy has grown in recent years. Last fall Oregon voters passed a ballot measure legalizing psilocybin mushrooms in regulated, therapeutic settings. Psilocybin has shown promise in treating anxiety and depression, two issues often seen in terminally ill patients.
The court did not rule on the case at that time. ♦