DEA to Review Cannabis Research Licenses After Four Years of Delays

The decision is being hailed as an "absolutely monumental" change that will enable greater research into the drug development potential of cannabis.   

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that it will officially begin the evaluation process for 37 application to cultivate cannabis for medical research purposes, after nearly four years of delays.

As part of the evaluation process the government agency will also thrash out the proposed rules for prospective growers that would be put in place under a federally backed program.

The release of this framework is absolutely monumental and is the biggest, the most meaningful, and material progress made in federal cannabis policy in decades. It opens up a path for traditional drug development in the United States.

Biopharmaceutical Research Company CEO, George Hodgin

To ensure that public participation and transparency is maintained, the DEA will also provide applicants—and regular US citizens—with an opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations.

Industry stakeholders were initially informed about the new rules in late March, which the DEA argues, "underscores the federal government's support for scientific and medical research with marijuana and its chemical constituents".

But some have questioned the legal issues involved with the DEA's newly proposed system, which seems to imply that the organization would actively distribute cannabis for research purposes.

The new regulations may also eliminate almost all applications from qualifying, as growers who take part in the program will be barred from participating under the new system if they have previously been convicted for breaking federal law.

Although this may seem like an unremarkable inclusion, it is worth remembering that cannabis is still illegal at the federal level in the US—despite successful legalization campaigns in multiple states—which may mean that the DEA's newly proposed system is unworkable from a legal standpoint.

However, according to DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, the organization is, "making progress to register additional marijuana growers for federally authorized research, and will continue to work with other relevant federal agencies to expedite the necessary next steps."

"The Drug Enforcement Administration continues to support additional research into marijuana and its components, and we believe registering more growers will advance the scientific and medical research already being conducted."


This could be one of the best investing opportunities of 2020

Legislative changes are blowing through the US, and with it, an ever-increasing number of states legalising cannabis for recreational use.

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They have secured partnerships with the biggest cannabis companies in the US, and their portfolio is second to none.

And with the sector-wide pullback of 2019, this company is now at a bargain-basement price.

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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