Rep. Matt Gaetz Pressures DEA to Approve Grow Applications
Republican Representative from Florida, Rep. Matt Gaetz, is Not Letting the DEA Drag its Heels on Cultivator Applications.
The United States, in the past, has been known for pushing society forward in the name of democracy and universal good. Unfortunately, they are falling short in this regard when it comes to cannabis. After nearly three years of promises and deliberations, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has failed to make cannabis research in the U.S. accessible. This is why the US needs more politicians like Rep. Matt Gaetz to say, “Enough.”
Only One Place Can Grow For Researchers For Last 50 Years
Right now, there is just one federally sanctioned cannabis cultivator: the University of Mississippi. They’ve been the only federally legal facility for about fifty years. People – lawmakers and civilians alike – are starting to get fed up with the delays and with the difficulty of conducting cannabis research which could ultimately lead to a better system of patient-centered care. Legislators are starting to take matters into their own hands.
As for the DEA, after two years of a stagnant quota, they must have the most rigorous review process in the world. The organization has claimed they are working on reviewing applications for federally regulated bulk cannabis producers, but since 2016, not a single one has been granted approval.
DEA Will Agree to Increase Quota For Single Cultivator
The agency decided to increase the production quota from 1,000 lbs per year (2018) to as much as 5,400 lbs for 2019. That’s going to be mighty difficult with just one manufacturer.
The DEA has explained their decision to increase quota: “The DEA increased the production quota for marihuana [sic] based solely on increased usage projections for federally approved research projects. … The DEA continues to review applications for registration and registers the number of bulk manufacturers of a controlled substance that is necessary to produce an adequate and uninterrupted supply.”
Is There a Reason For Lack of Approved Cultivators?
Well, you may have noticed but something else happened in 2016 – Donald Trump became president. And alongside him, anti-cannabis Attorney General Jeff Sessions made clear the stance of the Justice Department. The Justice Department, at the time, did everything in their power to hinder the DEA in their desire to push this research forward, including stopping progress on more than 20 applications.
But, Sessions isn’t the Attorney General anymore. Matthew G. Whitaker is the Acting Attorney General. We still don’t know who will permanently and formally replace Sessions. It’s possible the next AG may be just as anti-cannabis if they’re willing to help Trump shut down the Mueller investigation. In the meantime, however, the DEA can make some moves to improve progress.
Rep. Matt Gaetz Pushes For The Lock on Cannabis Research to Open
Republican Representative from Florida, Matt Gaetz, pushed forward a bill that would see the number of cannabis cultivators in the country move from one to three. Last September, the bill was approved by a voice vote by the Congressional Committee for federal drug enforcement.
This signals and important change in the federal opinions regarding cannabis. Lawmakers are seeing a need for top quality, research-grade cannabis grown in America. This will allow researchers to properly understand the plant’s numerous medicinal properties.
Legalization is sweeping the country, whether anti-cannabis legislators like it or not. And some people certainly don’t. Either way, it’s a move towards greater research opportunities to fill a nearly century long gap in advancement.