As specified by a notice scheduled to be published on Thursday, September 12th, the Drug Enforcement Agency wants 3.2 million grams, an excess of 7,000 pounds, of legal cannabis grown next year. The 2020 marijuana quota is over 30 percent higher than the current year's quantity of 2,450,000 grams. According to Forbes, “The increase comes as DEA is taking steps to license additional growers of cannabis to be used for research.”
“[The DEA's annual quota for the manufacture of controlled substances provides] for the estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, lawful export requirements, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks." - Drug Enforcement Agency
A farm at the University of Mississippi has been the nation’s only source of federally legal cannabis for research purposes in the United States for over the last 50 years and scientists have often complained that the facility’s marijuana is both difficult to acquire and of low quality. Research by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, or NIDA, have shown that crop cultivated by the university’s marijuana farm more closely resembles the genetic makeup of hemp, which NIDA says creates “a significant gap in our understanding of these products.”
Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly, head of the Mississippi facility, demonstrated a bit of a knowledge gap about the current potency state of cannabis when he said that a THC content of 8 percent is “extremely high” on the podcast What Do I Need To Know About Marijuana?
“The point is, eight percent THC in a plant material is extremely high potency for somebody to actually finish a cigarette.” - Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly
Real quick, it is objectively a concerning sign when the overseer of a federally sanctioned cannabis farm doesn’t know the difference between a joint and a cigarette sksksksk~
Dr. ElSohly went on to say, “Why people want to smoke or use 20 percent or 15 or 18 or any of those high amounts is just beyond me. It’s not for a good reason.” As the interview went on, ElSohly suggested that those who use marijuana concentrates with higher levels of THC are subject to addiction. “Of course some people are so addicted that it really requires a lot of material to make them high,” he said. “It gets to the THC is addictive.”
The DEA announced last month that it would begin to expand the number of federally authorized marijuana manufacturers for scientific research purposes.
“DEA intends to propose regulations in the near future that would supersede the 2016 policy statement and govern persons seeking to become registered with DEA to grow marihuana as bulk manufacturers, consistent with applicable law.” - Drug Enforcement Agency
.@DEAHQ is moving forward to facilitate and expand scientific and medical research for #marijuana by increasing the number of qualified growers for research. We’ve already increased by 40% in 2 years from 384 to 542. pic.twitter.com/Q26oggZefA— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) August 26, 2019
“I am pleased that DEA is moving forward with its review of applications for those who seek to grow marijuana legally to support research,” said Attorney General William Barr in a press release. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with our colleagues at the Department of Health and Human Services and across the Administration to improve research opportunities wherever we can.”
The notice from the Federal Register also calls for the production of 384,460 grams of tetrahydrocannabinols, 40 grams of LSD, 50 grams of MDMA and 30 grams of psilocybin in the next year.