Press Releases

Feb 132018

Raids on CBD Businesses in Tennessee Leave Patients without Access; Underline Need for Change in Federal Marijuana Laws - Americans for Safe Access

Similar Raids Across the Country Indicate Increasing Confusion Over Legality

Rutherford County, Tennessee — Yesterday, DEA agents, detectives from the local sheriff's office, and Smyrna, Murfreesboro, and LaVergne police raided 23 Rutherford County businesses accused of selling candy products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound derived from the cannabis (and hemp) plant. Law enforcement claims that the products were of particular concern because they were seemingly being marketed towards minors.

Feb 082018

IDEA’s Internal Review Process Results in Removal of Misinformation about Cannabis from Website - Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access Applauds Action and Calls Upon Congress to Take Note


WASHINGTON, DC — In a letter dated January 26th, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to medical cannabis for therapeutic use and research, learned that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denied their Information Quality Act (IQA) petition requesting the correction of misinformation disseminated on the DEA website on the health effects of medical cannabis, originally filed more than a year ago. However, the letter also pointed out that, through a “regular review process,” the DEA had removed certain documents and updated much of the information on the DEA website that ASA’s IQA petition addressed.

Feb 052018

Virginia Paves Road for Medical Marijuana in Conservative States - Americans for Safe Access

Bill Allowing All Physicians to Recommend Cannabis Oils Passes House and Senate

Richmond VA — Today, the Virginia General Assembly Senate passed SB726 by a vote of 40 to 0. Last week, the companion bill passed the House of Delegates unanimously by a vote of 98-0. The bill will allow physicians to recommend cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) oils to any patients for whom they feel the oils could help their conditions. Last year, the General Assembly passed legislation permitting the cultivation and manufacturing of cannabis oils for up to five processors in the state, but the only condition permitted was intractable epilepsy.  

Jan 042018

Sessions’ Actions Against Cole Memo Triggers Call to Action from Medical Cannabis Advocates - Americans for Safe Access

Still Protected by the CJS Amendment, Patients Prepare for A Return to Pre-Cole World

Washington D.C. As first reported by the Associated Press, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning on rescinding the 2013 memo created by then Deputy Attorney General James Cole. The Cole Memorandum highlighted eight priorities when it came to the federal enforcement of medical and recreational cannabis laws including preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors and preventing diversion.

A recission of the Cole Memorandum, which deprioritized prosecution of marijuana-related cases allows U.S. Attorneys to use discretion in the cases they prosecute. Sessions, an ardent critic of all forms of marijuana has repeatedly called on Congress to not extend the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Budget Amendment that provides protections to medical cannabis providers and individuals complying with state law by blocking Department of Justice funds.

“The Attorney General’s decision to rescind the Cole Memo shows his true intentions on cannabis ” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director for Americans for Safe Access.“While the Cole Memo was not perfect, it created a workable framework for states to regulate cannabis. States work within the Cole Memo, not against it. However, it is important to remember that this memo is not what provides protection to patients and providers. They are protected by the CJS Medical Marijuana amendment and it is more important than ever for Congress to renew these protections in the FY2018 Budget.”

Dec 202017

Victory for Veterans as VA Changes Policy on Medical Cannabis - Americans for Safe Access

Washington D.C. —  On December 8, 2017, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) quietly updated their policy in regards to VA doctors having discussions with veterans about medical cannabis, and clarified VA policy regarding access to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinical programs for veterans participating in state approved medical cannabis programs. VHA Directive 2017-1315 replaces an existing directive issued by the VA in 2011 (VHA 2011-004). The 2011 directive technically expired in 2016, but as no new policy had been put in place, VHA 2011-004 remained department policy until the new directive was issued. Most significantly, the new directive emphasizes “[v]eterans must not be denied VHA services solely because they are participating in state-approved marijuana programs.” 

Dec 072017

Improving Medical Cannabis Programs Will Combat Opioid Crisis - Americans for Safe Access

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WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Americans for Safe Access released “Medical Cannabis as a Tool to Combat Pain and the Opioid Crisis: A Blueprint for State Policy.” The blueprint outlines legislative and regulatory solutions related to medical cannabis that states can utilize to combat the opioid epidemic.

Nov 092017

ASA Files Freedom of Information Act Requests - Americans for Safe Access

WASHINGTON, DC — On November 9, Americans for Safe Access, filed two requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for information on any discussions the Commission had about medical cannabis and specifically the only cannabis study referenced in the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis draft final report .

Nov 072017

Medical Marijuana Study: 70 percent of CBD products inaccurately labelled - Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access Co-Author’s Study in JAMA on Cannabidiol Products

Washington, DC - A new study published this week in JAMA found that nearly 70 percent of all cannabidiol (CBD) products sold online are either over or under labeled, causing potential serious harm to its consumers. The study, co-authored by Jahan Marcu, Ph.D, American’s for Safe Access’ (ASA) Chief Science Officer and Director of Patient Focused Certification (PFC), analyzed 84 CBD products available online from 31 companies.
“This is a wake up call for the CBD industry to standardize their products,” said Dr. Marcu, “CBD product manufacturers need to adopt best practices and accept guidance from AHPA and other groups to improve consistency and safety for consumers. Reaching compliance with existing standards for cannabis-products could help address this issue.”

Oct 312017

Patient Advocates Call on Congress to Act to Preserve Medical Cannabis to Fight Opiate Crisis

Americans for Safe Access Launches Campaign and Declares November 1: National Cannabis as an Option for Pain Day

WASHINGTON, DC — On November 1, Americans for Safe Access, the US Pain Foundation, and approximately 150 advocates will hold a press conference and rally in Washington to encourage Congress and the Administration to consider medical cannabis as an option for pain in order to help mitigate the current opioid overdose crisis that has hit epidemic proportions in our nation. Sister rallies are planned across the country. See AFI list below.

Oct 262017

Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a Public Health Emergency, but Falls Short on Substance - Americans for Safe Access

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Americans for Safe Access to Launch National Campaign to Combat Opioid Deaths and Addiction Nov 1st

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. While this is good news, this declaration does not carry the same weight as the national emergency declaration the President promised in August because it does not include the necessary provisions for new funds which states need to combat the crisis. Nor does the Administration have a substantive plan for helping the states implement a concerted effort to combat the crisis.