David Gach

Little Interest So Far in Growing Cannabis for the Feds Following DEA Policy Changes

A report by Stat News has found little interest from a dozen agricultural colleges to grow cannabis at the behest of the Drug Enforcement Agency, following an announcement by the agency that they would expand their federally sanctioned research program.

Cornell University, the University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Michigan State University, the University of Vermont, the University of California, Davis, Western Kentucky University, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Oregon State University, Colorado State University, Purdue University — all indicated that they had no plans to grow cannabis for the government.

“I think everybody is just thinking about how to approach this,” Dr. Igor Grant, director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, said in the report. “What will it really take to get one of these DEA licenses?”

According to the report, interested organizations would need to show that they have security measures in place to protect the federally outlawed plants, and be willing to comply with a litany of additional requirements. A grow under the program would also likely involve significant funding to get up and running.

Currently, only the University of Mississippi has a federally-approved license to grow cannabis for government research.

Individuals and private companies can also apply for the program; however according to a memo announcing the policy change, individuals with Controlled Substances Act violations would likely be disqualified from participation. According to the document, any person or entity that applies for the program will be entitled to due process and the agency will “show cause” if an applicant is denied.      

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