September 2, 2011

DEA Issues ‘Final Order’ Rejecting Private Production Of Cannabis For Research

September 2, 2011
FDA medical marijuana

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued its final order rejecting a 2007 ruling from the agency’s own Administrative Law Judge that it would be ‘in the public interest’ to grant the University of Massachusetts a license to grow marijuana for federally regulated research.

The rejection preserves the monopoly held by US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on the supply of marijuana for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research. In 2010, a spokesperson for the agency told the New York Times, “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”

In 2007, after extensive hearings, DEA Judge Mary Ellen Bittner opined in favor of allowing a researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst legal permission to cultivate marijuana for use in FDA-approved clinical trials. She determined: “[T]here is currently an inadequate supply of marijuana available for research purposes. … I therefore find that Respondent’s registration to cultivate marijuana would be in the public interest.”

DEA director Michele Leonhart initially set aside Judge Bittner’s ruling in 2009.

The agency’s ruling may be appealed in the First Circuit US Court of Appeals.

For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500, or visit the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) online at:


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