After more than five decades of being in place, the federal monopoly on marijuana manufacturing ended earlier last week. Before its cessation, only the University of Mississippi was allowed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) to grow cannabis for study purposes.
The DEA had in the recent past announced that it would take action to end the monopoly and permit additional manufacturers. In May of last year, a number of companies received conditional approvals for their applications. Two of them — the Biopharmaceutical Research Company (“BRC”) and Groff North America Hemplex — revealed that they had recently received official registration from the DEA and had begun to grow and harvest the crop.
BRC concluded its first harvest in November 2021 and is now focused on its second harvest of marijuana plants under its DEA license. Gross North America Hemplex also concluded its first harvest towards the end of December 2021. The company is making arrangements with various Schedule I substance researchers to scale up the development of its produce.
Researchers state that this development represents a step forward, with the DEA beginning to oversee the production of research-grade marijuana on a new and much larger scale.
In an interview, Biopharmaceutical Research CEO George Hodgin stated that these steps had been made because of the work advocates of the marijuana community had done over the last few decades.
Advocates, health officials and legislators alike have been calling for expanded marijuana research, with most arguing that the current supply of government-grown cannabis for research was inadequate and that its products were chemically different from what consumers were purchasing in state-legal markets.
In a recent interview, Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, stated that researchers being allowed to access marijuana from retailers would be valuable as it would help to better understand the benefits and risks of what individuals were consuming in different states. In November 2021, President Joseph Biden signed an infrastructure legislation, which includes provisions that will provide researchers with this access.
Over in Congress, members are calling for the DEA to permit terminally ill patients to use psilocybin as an investigational therapy without fear of being federally prosecuted. Rep. Earl Blumenauer has been circulating a letter that highlights the existence of federal and state right-to-try laws that should allow eligible patients to access the psychedelic based on the promising potential it’s shown in various ongoing clinical trials.
This comes after a doctor in Washington State filed a lawsuit against the DEA for its refusal to allow him access to treat terminal patients using magic mushrooms.
The end of the cannabis production monopoly is likely to help the field of marijuana research, and the entire industry, including sector actors such as Simply Sonoma Inc., will benefit from that increased research.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Simply Sonoma Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/Sonoma
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