Changes in Growing Marijuana For Research

DEA Increases the Number of Authorized Marijuana Manufacturers Supplying Researcher – For the last 50 years, a single grower has produced all marijuana used in research in the United States. Marijuana research in the United States was limited until an increase in public interest in expanding marijuana research in the last few decades.

Specifically, there is a growing public interest in endocannabinoids, chemical compounds unique to the cannabis plant. Researchers are especially interested in the cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) and want to research CBDs effectiveness in treating seizures and neurological diseases. Given the high demand of cannabinoid extracts, the DEA is moving forward with a new approach that will allow marijuana growers to register with the DEA and provide marijuana and cannabinoid extracts to researchers.

So, what is the goal of the opening up applications to potential growers?

The FDA and DEA want to further the scientific knowledge of cannabinoids and their medical uses. Specifically, the DEA wants to know if marijuana-derived drugs are safe and effective.

What does the application look like?
Individuals who are interested in growing marijuana for researchers will be governed by 21 U.S.C.823(a) Meaning:

  • The government will require growers to maintain effective controls to ensure the marijuana is being sent to legitimate medical, scientific, research or industrial entities.
  • Growers have to be in compliance with State and local law.
  • Growers are promoting the development of new substance i.e. aiding medical advancement
  • Growers have to provide information of prior conviction record relating to the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of marijuana.
  • Growers need past experience in manufacturing marijuana and have an established method to control against diversion.
  • Growers will be subject to other relevant public health and safety laws.

The DEA is taking a small step in the right direction for marijuana research. Hopefully the DEA will continue to allow researchers to investigate a wider variety of strains in the coming years. Ideally, researchers will be able to be able to expand research and development of strains used by individuals in states where medical marijuana use is legal.

Harman Bual | August 15, 2016