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DEA Chooses Seventh Cannabis Cultivator License for Research Purposes

Maridose LLC is based in Maine and announced that on August 19, it received a federal cultivation permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency of the United States (DEA). The company is one of only seven in the country that have been approved by the DEA as a “bulk manufacturer marihuana grower.”

“We are very excited to receive this license from the DEA to produce and sell cannabis for research purposes, this a huge step for science and the future of cannabis,” said Maridose Founder Richard Shain.

In the past, the only institution that was legally allowed to provide cannabis to researchers was the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Development of Natural Products, when it received the country’s only cultivation registration from the DEA in 1968. The DEA declared that the DEA would soon be granting cultivation licenses for third-party applicants in May 2021, ending this monopoly. “Pending final approval, DEA has determined, based on currently available information, that a number of manufacturers’ applications to cultivate marijuana for research needs in the United States appears to be consistent with applicable legal standards and relevant laws. DEA has, therefore, provided a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to these manufacturers as the next step in the approval process.”

In May 2021, approval was also given to the Scottsdale Research Institute (Arizona) and Biopharmaceutical Research Company (California). Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals of California was approved December 20,21. Groff North America from Pennsylvania in March 2022 received approval and Irvine Labs (California) in April 2022. Maridose, now the seventh applicant has been approved.

“Our DEA Registration Number RM063095 is the culmination of over five years of working with the DEA and enables Maridose to legally sell a wide variety of cannabis products through the DEA to researchers and DEA-licensed pharmaceutical companies in the United States and internationally,” said Shain. “The DEA has indicated that it will only issue a very limited number of them, and Maridose is proud to be one of the first companies to receive a license. Businesses that sell cannabis in legal states are not allowed to ship cannabis across state borders and run at legal risk as cannabis is still a Schedule 1 substance at federal level. Maridose is able to legally supply our customers without these risks and limitations.”

The Federal Register currently lists many applications to the highly sought-after bulk manufacturer license as of August 22, 2012.

Scottsdale Research Institute President Dr. Sue Sisley has been a respected leader in cannabis research for many years. Although the institute received approval from the DEA in May 2021, it still wasn’t safe from the ongoing issue of banking in the cannabis industry. In October 2021, Sisley took to Twitter, explaining how the Bank of America closed the Scottsdale Research Institute’s accounts with very little notice. “Bank of America closes down account of Federally-licensed cannabis researcher. SRI conducts FDA approved controlled trials evaluating cannabis as medicine for treating pain/PTSD in military veterans & terminally ill patients this TRAGICALLY shuts down our research @BankofAmerica,” she wrote on Oct. 12, 2021.

The SAFE Banking Act would be a welcome improvement to ongoing cannabis industry woes, but many believe that it’s not enough to fully protect cannabis businesses.

The pace of cannabis research is increasing. Louisiana University was recently approved to study marijuana. It’s currently one of only two schools that has been chosen in the state so far. The government researchers shared their experiences in treating military veterans with MDMA, psilocybin and other drugs.