Increased pressure has moved the federal agency to review applications from growers that want to produce marijuana for research purposes.
Federal authorities in the US are set to begin approving more companies that want to grow marijuana for research purposes.
On Monday (August 26), the US Department of Justice issued a statement confirming the country’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be moving forward with its campaign to allow federally licensed marijuana growers to produce cannabis for research studies.
The federal ruler launched an initiative in August 2016 to allow companies to become federally approved growers of cannabis, with the material then being used for federal research.
In Monday’s announcement, Attorney General William Barr said he is pleased with the DEA’s decision to review these applications.
However, the DEA said that before approving any of the applications it will propose new policies to oversee the entire research-based cannabis growers program.
“The new rules will help ensure DEA can evaluate the applications under the applicable legal standard and conform the program to relevant laws,” the federal agency said.
As of this writing, only one facility at the University of Mississippi has been designated as a federally sanctioned cannabis cultivation site.
“DEA is making progress in the program to register additional marijuana growers for federally authorized research, and will work with other relevant federal agencies to expedite the necessary next steps,” Uttam Dhillon, the DEA’s acting administrator, said in Monday’s release.
In recent weeks, a variety of companies that have applied have voiced complaints about the slow turnaround with applications and the entire process seen from the DEA
One such applicant, Biopharmaceutical Research Company, issued a statement expressing its frustration with the DEA’s approach to the review process. Fellow hopeful marijuana research grower, the Scottsdale Research Institute, filed a court complaint requesting the DEA to process these applications this year.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the DEA was given a deadline of Wednesday (August 28) to respond to the court filing.
“We support additional research into marijuana and its components, and we believe registering more growers will result in researchers having access to a wider variety for study,” Dhillon said.
One of the critical needs for additional marijuana growers for research use relates to increasing complaints about the disparity in quality between the product grown at the University of Mississippi site compared product from existing state-based legal industries.
Another factor pushing the DEA — according to the Associated Press — is significant interest from Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Congress about the status of these applications.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.