The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently announced that it wants an increase of 30% from 2019’s cultivated scientific cannabis to 3,200,000 grams. Scientific cannabis ordered and allowed for cultivation by the DEA this year totaled to 2,450,000 grams. The entirety of the scientific cannabis is cultivated in order “to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, lawful export requirements, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks.”

This announced increase happened only a month after the DEA was required to respond to a lawsuit on the agency’s promise of scientific cannabis license expansions. In 2016, the agency announced that it would allow for cultivators of cannabis to apply for scientific cannabis licenses, yet three years passed and applicant licenses were held in limbo. The DEA processed all 33 licenses and announced it would continue with its 2016 promise of expanded scientific cannabis cultivators three days before a response deadline imposed by a federal court.

The only cultivation site currently allowed by the DEA is a single farm location at the University of Mississippi with a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contract. Numerous people who have handled the research on cannabis grown at the NIDA farm tout it as an inferior sample. The director of the facility even came out and said that he does not understand what value the NIDA grown cannabis has because it only has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content level of 8%.

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