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APA Asks Attorney General To Speed Up Processing Of Cannabis Cultivation Licenses

March 1, 2019 12:39 pm
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The American Psychological Association has sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr requesting that the government speed up the review of more than two dozen license applications for cultivation of cannabis for research purposes. 

What Happened

In their letter, scientists from the APA said the need to process the backlogged cultivation licenses immediately is due to the need to advance research on cannabis and its derivatives on both its harmful and therapeutic efffects.

The research is stalling because there is a shortage of cannabis products developed under Good Manufacturing Practices, according to the APA. 

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Why It's Important

Until a couple of years ago, the only cannabis available for research was supplied solely by the facility at the University of Mississipi, which made it difficult for researchers to obtain cannabis.

In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration launched a formal application procedure for additional cultivators.

There were 26 applications submitted, but the Department of Justice did not process them.

Lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties sent letters to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging him to act. Even though Sessions, who took a hard line against cannabis legalization, said during hearings that he was supportive of growing cannabis for research, the process of licensing cultivators did not move under his tenure. 

New AG Barr said in a written testimony to senators that he won't go after cannabis companies that comply with state laws and expressed support for marijuana cultivation for scientific research.

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