From John Gilmore October 22 (in response to the Epidiolex story):
GMP stands for “Good Manufacturing Practices.” Requiring vendors to follow “Good Manufacturing Practices” is a theoretically good idea that has gone extremely wrong.
The more I have looked into the “GMP” regulations, the more I am convinced it is a cartel-creating scam. It seems to me that GMP
certification is the reason that it’s illegal for US residents to buy drugs from Canadian or Indian pharmacies. FDA is careful in its
public statements to never exactly say why “Canadian pharmacies” are illegal to buy from (in a world of generally free trade across
borders), but this seems to be the underlying regulation that is being violated.
FDA has decided that it doesn’t matter whether the drugs are pure —what matters is whether reams of paperwork got done before they were made. (At MAPS we have already investigated, and determined that you can’t do the paperwork after the drugs are already made and are already tested to be pure. A drug that wasn’t “born GMP” can never be “made GMP” later.)
The FDA is not doing this to protect the public. Instead they have been captured by the drug manufacturers and made to “force” the
manufacturers to do all this expensive paperwork to protect the drug makers’ oligopoly from foreign competition. (Like the airlines
captured FAA and later TSA, which “forced” the airlines to check ID cards, “incidentally” preventing people from reselling airline
tickets, which made excessive “change fees” and “non refundable tickets” viable revenue sources. Or how the monopoly telcos captured the FCC and got fiber optics exempted from the requirement to share their monopoly facilities with their competitors, thus giving themselves a monopoly on any Internet access faster than DSL.)
So, I see “GMP” cannabis as evil —the price of joining the cartel that keeps US drug prices artificially high.
By the way, MAPS has been soliciting bids to make MDMA for our clinical trials. The GMP MDMA costs something like 3x the price of non-GMP MDMA. But most synthesis labs won’t even agree to do the onerous GMP paperwork, even if you overpay them for doing it.
It will be quite easy for the unregulated “free market” or “black market” to underprice FDA-legal GMP marijuana, if that ever happens. I think it’s more likely that most patients will just use legal recreational marijuana that isn’t made to GMP standards — assuming we follow through and manage to legalize recreational marijuana throughout the country.
PS: I would be happy to learn about anything I am getting wrong.