DEA Increases Marijuana Production Quotas for Research Purposes

Josh Mur | ANTIMEDIA

They have more than quintupled the original quota.

In what is arguably one of its most constructive actions, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has drastically increased the legal limit for marijuana production intended for research.

The DEA recently announced the change in policy in response to increased demand from researchers looking to explore marijuana’s medicinal value. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, has received a surge of attention due to its observable effects on patients with epilepsy, psychotic disorders, cancer, and a wide variety of ailments. Fortunately, the attention has been largely positive. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.S. Surgeon General recently affirmed that THC and CBD indeed have medicinal value.

Because of the measures enforced by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) originally imposed in 1970, the DEA regulates the legal production of illegal narcotics. A Schedule I narcotic is a substance considered to have high abuse risk and zero medicinal value. Substances on the Schedule I list include heroin, LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, methamphetamine, and–of course–marijuana.

Prior to the recent change at the DEA, the annual quota for marijuana production was 125,000 grams (a little over 275 pounds). However, because of the ever expanding body of scientific research, the DEA motioned for production quotas to be raised to 400,000 grams a year (over 880 pounds) in April.

Still, 880 pounds of marijuana a year evidently does not meet demands from researchers, as the DEA has pursued a second increase in annual quotas this year. Officials have now requested that federal growers harvest 658,000 grams (about 1,450 pounds) by the end of 2015, more than quintupling the original quota.


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