The USA’s Drug Enforcement Administration has established initial 2024 aggregate production quotas for controlled substances listed in schedules I and II of the nation’s Controlled Substances Act.
Section 306 of the Controlled Substances Act requires the Attorney General to establish aggregate production quotas for each basic class of controlled substance listed, with the AG delegating this function to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The new quotas place upper limits on substances manufactured in the United States in 2024, in order to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the country; for lawful export requirements, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks.
As the shackles come off cannabis in the USA and demand for research increases, quotas have risen significantly over the past few years – and 2024 will be no different. In a notice to be officially published on the Federal Register this week, production quotas at this point for this year are the following:
- Marijuana: 6,675,000 grams (6.675 tonnes)
- Delta 9 THC: 1,523,040 grams (1.523 tonnes)
- Marijuana extract: 1,000,000 grams (1 tonne)
Just as a comparison, back in 2019 the DEA was proposing a boost from 2,450 kilograms of marijuana for that year to 3,200 kilograms in 2020. Back in 2018, it was just 443 kilograms.
For more than half a century, marijuana and cannabinoid supply to meet these DEA quotas came from one source. The University of Mississippi had the sole contract to grow marijuana for scientific study, and this proved to be problematic. The concentration and lack of supply along with onerous restrictions held back cannabis research in the USA for years. After issues of material quality and an ongoing push, UoM’s monopoly ended and more manufacturers were authorised by the DEA during 2022.
As at March 2023, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had approved seven providers of cannabis and cannabis products for research:
- National Center for Natural Products Research (University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy)
- Groff NA Hemplex, LLC
- Irvine Labs, Inc
- Maridose, LLC
- Biopharmaceutical Research Company, LLC (BRC)
- Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals
- Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI)