On August 27, 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) issued a Federal Notice stating its intent to issue new regulations for its marijuana growers program for scientific and medical research.  The adjustments to its policies and practices will include a transition from the current single-grower system to the addition of multiple registered growers.  To date, DEA has received 33 pending applications from individuals and entities seeking to become registered with DEA to grow marijuana as bulk manufacturers. These applications will be fully reviewed after the new regulations are finalized.  The DEA also issued a press release stating:

“The new rules will help ensure DEA can evaluate the applications under the applicable legal standard and conform the program to relevant laws. To ensure transparency and public participation, this process will provide applicants and the general public with an opportunity to comment on the regulations that should govern the program of growing marijuana for scientific and medical research.”

Moreover, DEA notified applicants planning to grow hemp that they may withdraw their applications as a result of the recent amendments made by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 to the definition of marijuana to no longer include “hemp” as defined by law.

As we’re written about here and here, there is considerable frustration among the scientific, medical, and consumer communities regarding the availability of high quality cannabis available for research purposes. Interested parties may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed regulations on or before October 28, 2019.