Columbus Business First reports:
There should be a lot more marijuana available for drug companies and researchers now that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has opened up cultivation of the drug to more than one facility.
The agency didn’t budge from its classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, which puts the increasingly legalized plant in the same category as heroin, LSD and other hard drugs. Half of the U.S., including Ohio next month, has legalized the drug, mostly for treatment of serious illnesses.
The DEA, however, is making research-grade marijuana available to researchers interested in how it can be used as medicine. For decades only the University of Mississippi had been able to grow marijuana to supply limited research.
“DEA has concluded that the best way to satisfy the current researcher demand for a variety of strains of marijuana and cannabinoid extracts is to increase the number of federally authorized marijuana growers,” the agency wrote in a document published to the Federal Register.
Ohio State University, whose Buckeye leaf motif is sometimes mistakenas a marijuana leaf, prides itself on its research capabilities. But a spokesman said it’s too early to tell if the rule change will translate into pot research there.
“The university is in the process of reviewing the policy statement, which must be evaluated alongside the newly enacted state policies regarding marijuana,” spokesman Ben Johnson said in an email. “Ohio State is committed to the highest standards for basic science and clinical research on wide array of substances, including marijuana, that show promise.”
Tom Knox covers Ohio State University, public policy, energy and manufacturing.