On Thursday, The United States DEA (Drug Enforcement Authority) revealed an awaited final verdict concerning increasing the number of licensed scientific research marijuana farmers.
The agency stated that it made minor adjustments to the original proposed regulation it launched early this year on authorizing marijuana manufacturers. The notice will be officially published come Friday in the Federal Register.
DEA gave feedback to several public comments and broke them into 8 categories:
- Application criteria and process
- Marijuana quality
- Federal department obligations regarding Marijuana controls
- The definition of medical cannabis
- Security requirements and expenses applicable to the marijuana manufacture
- Cannabis fees and pricing for DEA comments and registrants beyond the department’s reach
Most commenters asserted that DEA shouldn’t disapprove applicants who’ve cultivated cannabis in tandem with the federal law. The agency argued that it’s bound by the state to look into cases where a candidate has broken federal law.
The notice reads that although the DEA has the discretion to evaluate the statutory aspects, a candidate’s prior adherence to the Federal Law is a crucial element when evaluating whether to award a license.
The agency also gave feedback on comments suggesting it to include a candidate’s ability to deliver top-quality cannabis and their experience in cannabis cultivation. It asserted that applicants are evaluated according to the public interest and adherence to international accords.
The DEA also pointed out that it won’t permit researchers to acquire cannabis products from federal-legal marijuana business. Other comments challenged the administration’s interpretation of global regulations and what they imply to cannabis research prohibitions.
Since the DEA’s 2016 announcement on expanding the number of cannabis cultivators, it got over 30 applications. However, it hasn’t acted on them. This has culminated in multiple lawsuits with researchers asking the court to order the administration to respond. DEA stated in the notice that it’ll prioritize those submissions before reviewing new ones.