DEA to Boost Marijuana Production for Research

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It looks like the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is loosening up on medical cannabis – at least when it comes to research.

The federal agency was originally planning on boosting the amount of marijuana it plans to produce for research purposes from 125,000 grams to 400,000 grams. But the DEA recently gave the thumbs up to a much bigger increase in production, allowing up to 658,000 grams (or 1,451 pounds).

The increase will apply for the entire 2015 fiscal year.

The initial production spike was in response to a major increase in demand for CBD-based products, which have been legalized in multiple states to help treat severe cases of seizure disorders, such as epilepsy.

At least two companies, Insys Therapeutics and GW Pharma, are reportedly attempting to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for CBD-based drugs to help treat epilepsy. A number of other studies are also looking for federal approval to look into CBD’s effects on other ailments, such as schizophrenia.

In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has made a similar request for “additional supplies of marijuana… for ongoing and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana.”