March 23, 2020
By: A.J. Herrington
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The Drug Enforcement Administration announced new rules last week that the agency said would expand opportunities for scientific and medical research on marijuana in the United States. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was filed for public inspection on Friday before being published Monday in the Federal Register.

The DEA originally announced that it would increase the number of marijuana cultivators in 2016, prompting 37 different entities to submit applications to be registered by the agency. But the DEA failed to act on any of those applications and announced in 2019 that it would create new rules before any new cultivators were registered. Currently, only one institution at the University of Mississippi has been approved to produce cannabis for research.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration continues to support additional research into marijuana and its components, and we believe registering more growers will advance the scientific and medical research already being conducted,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said in a press release. “DEA is making progress to register additional marijuana growers for federally authorized research, and will continue to work with other relevant federal agencies to expedite the necessary next steps.”

DEA Will Serve As Weed Broker

Under the proposed rules, the DEA would become a broker for all of the cannabis grown for research. Cultivators would be required to sell their products to the agency, which would then resell them to researchers for approved studies. Currently, the agency’s sole cannabis cultivator supplies marijuana for research directly to researchers, without the DEA acting as a middleman.

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