The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has been a real thorn in the paw of pot advocates.

The bureaucracy has seemingly resisted pro-marijuana reform at every turn, even defying a congressional mandate not to enforce anti-pot law in states where cannabis is legal.

But this month the DEA was apparently feeling the holiday spirit.

The agency declared recently that researchers conducting Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trials on marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) can skip a step in getting DEA approval to handle the drug.

Normally, the DEA explained, researchers who wanted to change the scope of their project and use more CBD than originally stated had to reapply to the DEA.

Now then don’t have to. Here’s what the agency said:

Prior to now, researchers who expanded the scope of their studies and needed more CBD than they were initially approved for had to request, in writing, a modification to their DEA research registrations – potentially delaying that research while the modification underwent an approval process that includes both the DEA and the FDA. Under these changes, a previously registered CBD clinical researcher who is granted a waiver can readily modify their protocol and continue their research seamlessly. This waiver effectively removes a step from the approval process.

Sounds boring, but this could really help prove that marijuana has medical uses. You know it does, but so far the official federal word is that it doesn’t. It’s still a Schedule I outlaw with now legit use.

Godspeed to the researchers.

About The Author


Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He's a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor's recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out:

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