The U.S. federal agency is currently proposing a new set of rules that would allow the development of scientific research on medical cannabis in the United States. These rules will follow international regulations and will give the power to The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to be the sole importer of cannabis and cannabis resin for research in the North American country.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. federal agency responsible for combating drug trafficking and distribution in the United States of America, proposed new rules that would expand the opportunities for scientific and medical research on cannabis.
DEA had initially announced that it would increase the number of legal cannabis growers back in 2016, prompting 37 different entities to submit applications for registration with the agency. However, the federal agency did not respond to any of these applications. DEA announced in 2019 that it will create new rules before new federally registered growers could be registered.
Currently, only one institution in all the United States, located at the University of Mississippi, is licensed to produce cannabis for research purposes.
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The Drug Enforcement Administration to manage the distribution of cannabis grown for research.
“The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to support additional research on cannabis and its components, and we believe that the registration of more growers will further advance the scientific and medical research already underway,” said Uttam Dhillon, Acting Administrator of The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) wants to register additional cannabis growers for federally-authorized research and will continue to work with other appropriate federal agencies to expedite the next steps,” he continued.
Under the proposed rules, the The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would manage the distribution of cannabis grown for research. Growers would be required to sell their product to the agency, which would then sell it to researchers for approved studies. Currently, the agency’s only cannabis grower supplies cannabis for research directly to researchers, without The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) acting as an intermediary.
The U.S. federal agency will follow all the United Nations treaties
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) explained that it would thus comply with the United Nations treaties governing research on controlled substances. The agency stated that international regulations also require that the United States federal agency be the sole importer of cannabis and cannabis resin for research in the country, although the requirement does not apply to approved medical cannabis preparations.
The note from The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Justice also explained that since 2017, the number of institutions authorized to conduct cannabis research has increased by 58%. The agency also increased the quota of cannabis produced for research from 472 kilograms in 2017 to 3,200 kilograms in 2020.
The announced rule change will now go through a 60-day public comment period on the proposal. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stated that the proposed rule change is “the latest and most important step taken to increase the number of registered cannabis growers in the United States, and underscores the federal government’s support for scientific and medical research on cannabis and its chemical components.
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