It would appear the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) likes to really stretch out a court order.
Because a month ago, a federal court order was issued putting the agency against the ropes on the matter of why it was dragging its feet on the mountain of applications, “unprecedented” is how said mountain is being described by the DEA itself, by cannabis manufacturers applying to be federally authorized for growing “marihuana” at bulk levels specifically for research purposes. The order demanded the DEA explain itself in 30 days.
And with only days to go, today the DEA issued a notice to create steps and regulations necessary to improve access to marijuana research.
DEA Announces Steps Necessary to Improve Access to Marijuana Research https://t.co/QY2PoRmRCA
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) August 26, 2019
Good news to be sure. It’s almost as if the agency took the advice of David Tran of DOPE Media/High Times, and decided to show up and actually get involved in cannabis reform. The new proposed regulations would supersede the agency’s 2016 policy statement, and govern persons seeking to become registered with DEA to grow cannabis.
Additionally, a public comment period for individuals interested in weighing in on the rulemaking process will be set.
US Attorney General William Barr applauded the decision.
“I am pleased that DEA is moving forward with its review of applications for those who seek to grow marijuana legally to support research,” said Barr in a press release. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with our colleagues at the Department of Health and Human Services and across the Administration to improve research opportunities wherever we can.”
With more research and data will come more opportunities for cannabis operators, entrepreneurs, and investors to make better decisions as the industry continues to come online around the country, as well as Massachusetts. In addition to the cannabis retail and cultivation operations already operating, of the 331 pending applications the MA Cannabis Control Commission has under review from 4/1/2018 to today, the cannabis cultivation and product manufacturing applications make up the dominant share of the pile.