Photograph: Bessie Bell On 23 March, less than five months after Arizonas pot measure failed, Insys announced that the DEA had given the green light for the launch of Syndros, colorado marijuana its cannabinoid designed to treat chemotherapy patients struggling with nausea and Aids patients with anorexia. The drug is a lab-made liquid form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a key chemical compound in cannabis. Its different from the street synthetic marijuana known as K2 or Spice , which often involves chemicals sprayed on to plants and has been linked to overdoses and deaths . The approval has sparked fierce backlash from cannabis activists, who argue that Insys has helped prevent the very kind of treatment that it is now on track to market. Its a little bit disgusting when you think of the collateral damage for human beings, said Berman. Whats more, Insys also manufacturers fentanyl, a painkiller that is 50 times stronger than heroin and has a deadly track record . In December, six former Insys executives were arrested for allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe fentanyl to patients who didnt need it. Insyss association with the opiate crisis makes its efforts to thwart regulated marijuana use all the more alarming, critics said. Fentanyl is a drug that is rapidly becoming the major pathway for opioid deaths in the US, said W David Bradford, a University of Georgia professor whose research has shown that medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use.