The DEA is reportedly still working on addressing marijuana research applications three years after it announced that it will begin to approve additional marijuana growers for research purposes, according to a report by Marijuana Moment.
It appears though, based on a letter sent by several senators, that the DEA has not made as much headway as hoped. On Thursday December 12, 2019, several Senators, including Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, joined six other Senators to write to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the White House Offices of National Drug Control Policy. The letter reads, in part:
“Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 substance . . . . Marijuana's Schedule I
classification as a drug with ‘no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,' is, in itself, a significant barrier to conducting research.”
The letter continues, in part, that the senators are:
“requesting written guidance on how the DEA will make these licenses available to qualified researchers in a timely manner.”
“While millions of Americans are now lawfully able to use marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes, there remains limited research on its therapeutic benefits,”
“With an ever-growing number of Americans consulting their doctors about marijuana treatment options for conditions such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and terminal illnesses, it is imperative that your agencies make a concerted effort to improve our understanding of cannabis, its potential health benefits, and its health risks.”
It also features highlights of the letter and indicates that the Senators wrote that the federal government has not provided the necessary leadership and tools in the developing area. Further, the research, which will provide evidence, will ensure that marijuana laws can best serve patients and health care providers. They said,
“With millions of American adults having access to recreational marijuana and a growing number seeking the drug for medicinal purposes, the federal government is not providing the necessary leadership and tools in this developing field,”
“Evidence-based public policy is crucial to ensuring our marijuana laws best serve patients and health care providers.”
“Federal agencies have a unique opportunity to collaborate with one another to expand our nation’s understanding of marijuana’s potential to create safe and effective therapies.”
Per the letter, the senators request that the departments respond by January 10, 2020.
All information is for general informational and educational purposes only. Nothing should be interpreted as legal or medical advice.