DEA Could Issue Additional Cannabis Cultivation Licenses In 2021

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is poised to issue licenses for the cultivation of cannabis for research purposes in the first half of the next year.

The agency is expanding the number of licensed cannabis cultivators for research up from the country's sole producer of marijuana for research. 

“DEA believes a range of three to 15 growers is a reasonable estimate for purposes of this economic analyses, with the understanding that the actual number could vary considerably,” the newly published rule says.

The University of Mississippi is the only entity with the right to grow marijuana for experts studying the plant, Marijuana Business Daily writes.

“I expect them to start issuing licenses no later than the first half of 2021,” Maridose’s president Richard Shain said. 

The Boca Raton, Florida-based cannabis cultivation and research center is one of approximately 30 businesses and institutions that opted to apply for the federal cannabis cultivation permits, according to Marijuana Business Daily. 

Other state-legal cannabis businesses that could receive approval to grow cannabis for research purposes include New York-based Columbia Care, G.B. Sciences in Nevada, Green Leaf in Alaska, NuVue Pharma in Colorado, and Illinois-based PharmaCann.

In addition, The University of Massachusetts, The University of California, Davis, and Fraunhofer USA in Delaware also applied for permits.

Shain said the DEA is not inclined to grant licenses to state-legal marijuana company applicants, as their status violates federal cannabis prohibitions.

“Not viewed favorably’ is code for ‘not going to happen,’” he said. 

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