New legislation targets pill press molds used to manufacture illicit fentanyl

WASHINGTON- Bipartisan legislation in Congress aims to crack down on pill press molds used to manufacture illicit fentanyl. The Criminalizing Abused Substance Templates (CAST) Act would make possessing a press mold with the intent to counterfeit Schedule I or II substances a crime. It also increases the offense level for manufacturing or selling controlled substances with a pill press mold by at least two levels, carrying a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy and Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan introduced the legislation.

“Counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl pose a major threat to our communities. Strengthening penalties for the criminals creating these counterfeit drugs can help get them off the market,” said Senator Hassan in a press release.

“No one should have to worry if their medicines are counterfeit or laced with fentanyl,” said Senator Cassidy in a press release.

Under the current Controlled Substances Act (CSA), businesses selling pill press molds must verify the identity of purchasers, maintain records, and report to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Earlier this year, Emily’s Hope reported that eBay agreed to pay $59 million to settle allegations of violating the CSA by selling thousands of pill presses and encapsulating machines through its website.