Next year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) plans to authorize the cultivation of 3,200 kilos of marijuana that will be used for research and other federally-approved purposes.
This plan is part of the anti-narcotics agency’s annual quota for the production of controlled substances that will be used for the scientific, medical, research and industrial needs of the U.S. The quota also includes the amounts of controlled substances that are needed to address the lawful export needs of the country as well as maintaining reserve stocks of those controlled substances.
The planned volume of marijuana for 2020 indicates a 30 percent increase from the quota for 2019 which stood at 2.45 million kilos.
The planned amount is intended to meet the increased number of entities that have been approved to conduct marijuana research.
In a press released, the DEA indicated that during the past two years, there has been a steady increase in the number of marijuana research applicants from 384 in 2017 to 542 in 2019. This marks a 40 percent increase, the DEA added.
This increase in the amount of marijuana required by the DEA comes as the agency is set to approve more growers and manufacturers of the drug.
Last month, the federal agency revealed that it was now ready to act on the grower applications that it requested for three years ago.
If this promise is acted upon, the more than 50-year old monopoly by the University of Mississippi will come to an end and the research community, which has for long complained about the availability and quality of marijuana from that Mississippi farm, will heave a sigh of relief once alternative sources are available.
Recently, the director of this sole federally-licensed producer of research-grade cannabis made news by wondering why someone would want to consume marijuana with a THC concentration that exceeds 8 percent.
Those comments hammered home the research findings that indicated that the marijuana from the Mississippi farm is closer to hemp than the commercially available cannabis in states where marijuana has been legalized.
The notice in which the marijuana quota was announced indicates that the DEA plans to reduce the amount of other controlled substances manufactured. For example, fentanyl will be reduced by 31 percent, hydromorphone by 25 percent, and oxymorphone by 55 percent.
The agency will accept public comments about this quota until October 10 when the comments period will close.
Analysts think industry players like MustGrow Biologics Corp. (CSE: MGRO) and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: NABIF) (FRA: 71P) will only be happy once the DEA actually licenses more research-grade marijuana manufacturers or growers.
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