STAT, July 24, 2017
Andrew Joseph

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Almost a year after the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it would consider granting additional licenses to cultivate cannabis for research purposes — and despite drawing 25 applicants so far — the agency has yet to greenlight a new grow operation.

The DEA says it does not have a timeline to approve or deny applications and noted that it is dealing with a new review process. All applicants remain under review and none has been rejected, said Katherine Pfaff, a DEA spokeswoman.

But the lag has allowed critics of the agency to argue that the announcement was a public relations ploy and that the DEA remains dug in against marijuana research. And, they say, the signals from the Trump administration, particularly Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s embrace of a tough-on-drugs ethos, leave them doubting the agency will ever approve another grower. [...]

criminal law health law policy pharmaceuticals public health regulation research