DEA Announces Plan to Promulgate Regulations for the Approval of New Cannabis Cultivation Facility Licenses for Scientific Research

Washington, DC -- According to a press release by the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday, the Drug Enforcement Administration has filed a notice in the Federal Register of its intention to promulgate regulations that govern the growing of cannabis for scientific and medical research under DEA registration. This announcement comes just days before a court deadline to respond to a lawsuit by researchers--including Americans for Safe Access’ (ASA) longtime supporter Dr. Sue Sisley--and mounting bipartisan pressure from Congressional lawmakers to move forward on the applications that the DEA began collecting three years ago from prospective growers.

It is not known exactly when the Department of Justice will move forward on the applications since the DEA must draft the new regulations and release them for public comment before they can be finalized. Once the final regulations have been promulgated, the DEA will be able to review and score the applications it received and issue licenses to successful applicants. 

ASA and the medical cannabis community would welcome the addition of new, federally approved cannabis cultivation facilities. The government has been using only one facility, at the University of Mississippi, for the last 50 years to grow cannabis for federal research, and the quality of the cannabis produced there has been decried by researchers to whom it has been supplied. “After years of inexcusable delay, the DEA has finally taken a small step forward in the potential licensing of new cannabis cultivation facilities for scientific research,” said ASA Founder and President Steph Sherer. “ASA has urged reform in this area for over a decade, and we hope that the DEA will move expeditiously now that the framework of a plan for license application review has finally been made public.”