The DEA is doubling down on a plan announced last week to increase research-grade cannabis production in 2019 and is now moving to raise the cannabis production quota for 2018, as well, reports Marijuana Moment‘s Tom Angell. The new total for this year — which exceeds 2,500 pounds — is more than double the 978 pounds originally requested by the agency for 2018.

According to a federal register filing set to be published on Thursday, the new cannabis quota will help to meet the “estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States,” create a stock of marijuana “for lawful export requirements,” and to establish and maintain reserve stocks of research-grade cannabis.

It is not exactly clear why the DEA has suddenly seemed to cool on cannabis production, but many predict it could be in preparation for the federal licensing of more research cannabis farms.

The proposed controlled substance quotas will now be subject to public comment for 30 days.

Some senators have accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who has, as the head of the Justice Department, taken many actions to harm or hinder the legal cannabis industry — of trying to block up the licensing process for additional research-grade cannabis farms.

Sessions admitted in April during a Senate testimony that medical marijuana might be beneficial.

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