The Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) has informed some companies that their applications to become federally authorized manufacturers of cannabis for research purposes may soon be approved. This comes nearly five years after the DEA announced that it was accepting applications for new manufacturers, under former President Barack Obama’s administration.
This is a significant development, especially when one considers that no approvals were made under the Trump administration, and this is one of the first marijuana-related moves made by the Biden administration.
Groff North America Hemplex LLC, the Scottsdale Research Institute and the Biopharmaceutical Research Company were some of the companies informed by the agency that their requests were conditionally approved. However, it is still not clear how many companies have received a communication from the DEA thus far.
The agency noted that it was about to conclude its review of numerous cannabis grower applications, which would allow it to register more organizations that will be permitted to produce cannabis for research purposes. It added that it had determined that the number of applications to grow cannabis were consistent with applicable laws and legal standards, pending final approval. This is why the agency offered a memorandum of agreement to these organizations as the next step in the authorization process.
The journey has not been easy for some applicants that in, some cases, filed lawsuits against the agency over delays in getting approvals. The Scottsdale Research Institute was one of the organizations whothat filed a suit against the enforcement agency. According to a press release, Dr. Sue Sisley of the Scottsdale Research Institute, is finalizing a memorandum of agreement requested by the agency that will be executed and made official.
George Hodgin, CEO of the Biopharmaceutical Research Company, stated in another media statement that after finalization, the federal license would change the course of both the medical marijuana industry as a whole as well as its business.
The DEA also revealed that applicants that met all legal requirements had been presented with a memorandum of agreement that will provide a summary of the means through which the agency and applicants should work together to facilitate the distribution, packaging, storage and production of cannabis under the new regulations, asd well s any other relevant laws and applicable legal standards.
The agency noted that it would continue prioritizing efforts to assess the remaining grower applications and added that it would post new information about approvals publicly. The DEA expects to approve more requests in the future.
Hopefully, companies that complete the authorization process will avail sufficient amounts of research-grade cannabis so that the products marketed by industry actors such as Grapefruit USA Inc. (OTCQB: GPFT) can find a deeper market penetration due to the third-party research done to inform the public about those products.
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