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Scottsdale Company Spurs DEA Processing Of Marijuana Research Applications

On Monday, two days before a court-ordered deadline, the DEA began to process a backlog of applications by U.S. companies waiting for approval to grow cannabis for research purposes.

Scottsdale Research Institute, a clinical trials site for medical grade cannabis, filed an action in June of this year with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It was to force the DEA to process its three-year-old application to grow and test marijuana.

It comes after the Trump administration announced it will begin taking steps to expand the number of federally approved marijuana growers for scientific and medical research purposes.

Two days before the court-ordered Monday deadline for the DEA to respond, the agency processed SRI’s application — along with 32 other pending applications to grow cannabis for research purposes that have also been waiting for over two years.

Back in 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration said it would consider granting additional licenses for marijuana growers — once new standards were put in place. However, none of the applications had been approved since then.

In a written statement Monday, SRI's principal Dr. Sue Sisley said the company is "cautiously optimistic" that the testing process will begin. Sisely also said it could take years to get access to newly cultivated cannabis material for research.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.