Good news for those working in the ever-growing US cannabis market – the DEA has announced plans to increase their research into the scientific and medical effects of marijuana.
Unfortunately, the timeframe for this expansion has not been detailed. Whenever the DEA does get around to it, this type of development could greatly benefit the growth and development of the industry as a whole.
The DEA’s announcement was in response to an appellate court order that required it to respond to claims that it had failed to act on medical cannabis research applications dating back to 2016. As such, the DEA has made clear its intentions to propose new regulations that will govern its marijuana research program prior to making any decisions about the current 33 pending research applications.
Despite the number of pending applications, only the University of Mississippi has been given federal authorization to grow cannabis for research purposes. This stall in the application approval process has greatly limited the potential for research into the scientific and medical effects of cannabis.
In a news release about the announcement, the DEA states that it anticipates that the authorization of more applications will lead to more varieties of cannabis being made available for research purposes. The new rules they propose as a part of this announcement will help to evaluate the applications according to legal standards.
“I am pleased that the DEA is moving forward with its review of applications for those who seek to grow marijuana legally to support research,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.
As small of a step as this might seem, it’s important not to overlook that it is still a step in the right direction. The more action the DEA takes to encourage research of cannabis, the more data there will be to work with, and the more the country will know about it as a recreational drug.
As is often the case, much of the pressure to criminalize cannabis comes from a lack of understanding. The more that governing bodies like the DEA and everyday citizens in your community know about cannabis and its effects, the less scary of a topic it will be.
Long term, the expansion of research into the effects of cannabis will help to grow the industry, inform the public, and possibly even lead to legalization in more states across the country.
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