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State Petroleum Inc.; Denial of Application

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On or about January 23, 2001, the Deputy Assistant Administration, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an Order to Show Cause (OTSC) by certified mail to State Petroleum, Inc. (State Petroleum), located in Dearborn, Michigan, notifying it of an opportunity to show cause as to why the DEA should not deny in application, dated June 17, 2000, for a DEA Certificate of Registration as a distributor of the List I chemicals ephedrine and pseudoephedrin, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 823(h), as being inconsistent with the public interest. The order also notified State Petroleum that, should no request for hearing be filed within 30 days, the right to a hearing would be waved.

The OTSC was received, as indicated by tbe signed postal return receipt, received by DEA February 12, 2001. Since that time, no further response has been received from the applicant nor any person purporting to represent the applicant. Therefore, the Administrator of the DEA, finding that (1) thirty days having passed since receipt of the Order to Show Cause, and (2) no request for a hearing having been received, concludes that State Petroleum is deemed to have waived its right to a hearing. After considering relevant material from the investigate file in this matter, the Administrator now enters his final order without a hearing pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43(d) and (e) and 1301.46.

The Administrator finds as follows. List I chemicals are chemicals that may be used in the manufacture of a controlled substance in violation of the Controlled Substances Act 21 u.S.C. 802(34); 21 CFR 1310.02(a). Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are List I chemicals that are commonly used to illegally manufacture methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. Methamphetamine is an extremely potent central nervous system stimulant, and its abuse is a growing problem in the United States.

The Administrator finds that on or about June 17, 2001, an application was received by the DEA Chemical Operations Registration section on behalf of State Petroleum for DEA registration as a distributor of the two above-mentioned List I chemicals. The DEA pre-registration inspection on July 7, 2001, revealed that State Petroleum had no prior experience in distributing List I chemical products. A corporate representative stated to DEA investigators that State Petroleum was in the business of wholesaling automotive chemical and petroleum products. The DEA inspection revealed State Petroleum appeared unprepared to accept the responsibilities of a DEA registant. The inspection noted deficiencies in State Petroleum's proposed recordkeeping system that clearly show the firm's ability to comply with DEA's recordkeeping requirements. The DEA investigation also revealed a number of State Petroleum's proposed supplier was out of business and a random sampling of proposed customers either were not interested in distributing List I chemical products, or were already receiving List I chemical products from other suppliers.

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 823(h), the Administrator may deny an application for a DEA Certificate of Registration if he determines that granting the registration would be inconsistent with the public interest. Section 823(h) requires the following factors be considered:

(1) Maintenance by the applicant of effective controls against diversion of listed chemicals into other than legitimate channels;

(2) Compliance by the applicant with applicable Federal, State, and local law;

(3) Any prior conviction record of the applicant under Federal or State laws relating to controlled substances or to chemicals controlled under Federal or State law;

(4) Any past experience of the applicant in the manufacture and distribution of chemicals; and

(5) Such other factors as are relevant to and consistent with the public health and safety.

Like the public interest analysis for practitioners and pharmacies pursuant to subsection (f) of section 823, these factors are to be considered in the disjunctive; the Administrator may rely on any one or combination of factors and may give each factor the weight he deems appropriate in determining whether a registration should be revoked or an application for registration be denied. See, e.g. Energy Outlet 64 FR 14,269 (1999), See also Henry J. Schwartz, Jr., M.D., 54 FR 16,422 (1989).

The Administrator finds factors one, four, and five relevant to this case.

Regarding factor one, the maintenance of effective controls against the diversion of listed chemicals, the DEA pre-registration inspection documented inadequate recordkeeping arrangements, in that State Petroleum intended to sell List I chemicals solely on a “cash and carry” basis, and there would be no computerized database with which to track sales to determine whether thresholds and recordkeeping requirements were being met. State Petroleum admitted that its proposed “cash and carry” plan for distribution of List I chemical products would be inadequate to meet DEA recordkeeping requirements.

Regarding factor four, the applicant's past experience in the distribution of chemicals, the DEA investigation revealed that State Petroleum has no previous experience related to handling or distributing listed chemicals.

Regarding factor five, other factors relevant to and consistent with the public safety, the Administrator finds that State Petroleum is unprepared to successfully meet the requirements of a DEA List I chemical registrant. State Petroleum admitted its proposed recordkeeping system would be inadequate to comply with DEA requirements. State Petroleum further could not explain any planned controls against diversion.

In addition, State Petroleum's proposed supplier was out of business, and a random sampling of its proposed customers either had no interest in List I chemical products, or were already receiving their List I chemical products from other suppliers. Thus State Petroleum failed to provide DEA with information demonstrating it had a legitimate source for List I chemical Start Printed Page 9995products; and further failed to provide DEA with information demonstrating it had a legitimate customer base for List I chemical products.

Therefore, for the above-stated reasons, the Administrator concludes that it would be inconsistent with the public interest to grant the application of State Petroleum.

Accordingly, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, pursuant to the authority vested in him by 21 U.S.C. 823 and 28 CFR 0.100(b) and 0.104, hereby orders that the application for a DEA Certificate of Registration submitted by State Petroleum, Inc. be denied. This order is effective April 4, 2002.

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Dated: February 22, 2002.

Asa Hutchinson,

Administrator.

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Certificate of Service

This is to certify that the undersigned, on February 25, 2002, placed a copy of the Final Order referenced in the enclosed letter in the interoffice mail addressed to Wayne Patrick, Esq., Office of Chief Counsel, Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington, DC 20537; and caused a copy to be mailed, postage prepaid, registered return receipt to Mr. Mohammed Saghir, State Petroleum, Inc., 6200 Miller Road, Dearborn, Michigan 48126.

Karen C. Grant.

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[FR Doc. 02-5225 Filed 3-4-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4410-09-M