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.
“What has progressed with the DEA over the past year?