Last year, big pharma company Insys Therapeutics fought hard to keep weed illegal. At the same time, the company was also working to get its own synthetic cannabis product, Syndros, off the ground. And it looks like those efforts are paying off. The DEA just approved the company’s new drug.
Insys Therapeutics Moves Ahead With Synthetic THC
After getting FDA approval last year, Insys has been waiting to see how the DEA would classify the drug. And in a new announcement, the DEA said it will put Syndros in the Schedule II category.
Schedule II drugs are defined as having “a high potential for abuse,” but with accepted medical uses.
Big Pharma’s Double Standard?
But the entire thing is rubbing some in the cannabis community the wrong way. That’s because Insys Therapeutics was one of the biggest companies lobbying against cannabis during last year’s elections.
The Arizona-based company donated $500,000 to the Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy. That group played a key role in defeating a bill that would have legalized weed in Arizona.
Insys was one of the largest single donors to the campaign. The company said it made the donation “because fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.”
Apparently, Insys thinks weed is just too dangerous to be legalized. That is, of course, unless it can make a buck on its own version of synthetic cannabis.
And despite what it said about the dangers of weed last year, Insys is now touting the medicinal benefits of Syndros.
In a press release, the company said it looks forward to “bringing this new drug product to chemotherapy patients” and to “AIDS patients.”
The Final Hit
Insys has drawn a lot of attention lately. For starters, Insys has come under fire for making and selling a highly addictive opioid called fentanyl. Then last December, the FBI arrested six of the company’s execs. And then there were last fall’s anti-weed activities. Many people saw the move as less about public safety and more about corporate profits.
Critics of the company say Insys was trying to keep cannabis from disrupting its opioid sales. And in fact, data suggests that cannabis could do precisely that.
And now, Syndros is likely to become the newest chapter in the Insys drama. One month the company’s talking about how dangerous cannabis is. A few months later, it’s hyping the benefits of its own synthetic cannabis drug.
Perhaps most troubling of all is the DEA’s role in all this. Apparently the federal government agrees with Insys. Weed itself is simply too dangerous to legalize. Unless, of course, a corporation can sell its own artificial version of it. In which case it gets immediate approval.