Yetter Coleman’s pro bono client Scottsdale Research Institute won a significant victory for science. The DEA issued draft agreements to an undetermined number of applicants to cultivate marijuana under a Schedule I license, thus ending a 50-year federal government monopoly on marijuana cultivation. SRI is one of the entities that received a draft agreement. These licenses will allow U.S. entities to cultivate and study marijuana in a clinical setting with the hope of developing new treatments.
SRI and its principal, Dr. Sue Sisley, have been at the forefront of this fight for ten years to reach this significant result, with the firm representing both in litigation for the last two years, including suing the DEA to process the applications that had stalled out for years—which DEA did several weeks after a mandamus petition was filed in the D.C. Circuit. Additionally, a secret memo was uncovered that blocked the program—settling a district court suit with the government two weeks after a complaint was filed. In June 2021, oral argument will be heard in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on critical questions relating to marijuana scheduling.