It seems common sense is spreading even to the historically anti-cannabis Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which is increasing the amount of cannabis to be grown for scientific research next year by over 5X- from around 1,000 lbs in 2018 to 5,400 lbs in 2019, according to Forbes.
That means 2019 will see 2,450,000 grams of cannabis authorized to be grown for research purposes compared to the 443,680 grams grown in 2018!
But despite the increase in authorized cannabis being grown, the amount of THC the DEA is proposing to be produced in 2019 remains the same as 2018 at 384,460 grams.
Once the new quotas appear in the Federal Register, the general public will have 30 days to comment on the proposals.
It seems like the majority of the cannabis will come from a farm managed by the University of Mississippi, which has had a monopoly on cannabis produced for scientific research since 1968, and despite complaints from scientists and researchers about the bureaucratic hoops they need to jump through just to obtain the cannabis and worries over the low quality of the cannabis, no new growers have been announced so far.
DEA wants fewer opioids
Even better, at the same time the DEA is allowing more cannabis to be used for research, it is proposing an average reduction of 10% in prescriptions for opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, morphine, and fentanyl– the six most frequently misused opioids, according to a DEA press release.
DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said:
“We’ve lost too many lives to the opioid epidemic and families and communities suffer tragic consequences every day.”
“This significant drop in prescriptions by doctors and DEA’s production quota adjustment will continue to reduce the amount of drugs available for illicit diversion and abuse while ensuring that patients will continue to have access to proper medicine.”
Even US Attorney General Jeff “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” Sessions recognizes the urgency of the opioid crisis, calling it the “worst drug crisis in American history,” and going on to say that, “President Trump has set the ambitious goal of reducing opioid prescription rates by one-third in three years,” and that they are “resolutely” committed to that goal.