The Drug Enforcement Administration informed companies on Friday that it was prepared to approve their applications to cultivate cannabis for research purposes, which would end the University of Mississippi’s half-century monopoly on growing research-grade cannabis, Marijuana Moment reported.
The DEA first announced it would be accepting applications for new federally licensed cannabis cultivators near the end of the Obama Administration — but, while the agency received many applications, no further action was taken under four years of the Trump Administration. The federal agency’s announcement last week appears to be the Biden Administration’s first official cannabis-related action, according to the report.
“DEA is nearing the end of its review of certain marijuana grower applications, thereby allowing it to soon register additional entities authorized to produce marijuana for research purposes,” the agency said in a statement on Friday.
“Pending final approval, DEA has determined, based on currently available information, that a number of manufacturers’ applications to cultivate marijuana for research needs in the United States appears to be consistent with applicable legal standards and relevant laws. DEA has, therefore, provided a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to these manufacturers as the next step in the approval process.” — DEA, in a statement
The DEA did not release a full list of the companies they had contacted but several firms have since announced they were notified of their expected application approval.
Dr. Sue Sisley of the Scottsdale Research Institute — who has worked for years to investigate the efficacy of medical cannabis for treating PTSD in military veterans — was notified last week that their application was moving forward. Having sued the DEA in 2019 for erroneously hindering research efforts by refusing to license new cultivators, Dr. Sisley told the Wall Street Journal she was excited to have finally received word from the federal agency after five years of waiting. “We’ve been at this so long I can’t believe we’re finally here,” she said in the report.
Other groups who were notified by the DEA of their updated application status included Biopharmaceutical Research Company and Groff NA Hemplex LLC.
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