Marijuana giants received a major boost on Monday after the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that it would initiate steps to increase the number of approved medical cannabis growers. The announcement comes after a federal court questioned the agency’s lethargic approach towards granting approvals.
Though the agency had started accepting new grower applications as long as three years ago, many of them are lying unattended. Marijuana companies are hoping that the move comes as a precursor to the legalization of CBD in at least some states in the US.
“DEA is making progress in the program to register additional marijuana growers for federally authorized research, and will work with other relevant federal agencies to expedite the necessary next steps,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon.
“We support additional research into marijuana and its components, and we believe registering more growers will result in researchers having access to a wider variety for study,” he added.
Meanwhile, British medical marijuana firm GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) bucked this overall positivity, declining over 5% during mid-market hours. The stock is currently trading at a six-month low.
The decline was the continuation of investor reaction towards a UK-based firm on Friday recommending against the use of its cannabis-derived epilepsy treatment Epidyolex. In the US, it was launched last year and has since shown splendid sales.
The conclusions from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) come days ahead of Epidyolex’s expected approval in the UK. According to the company, regulatory approval is set to come in October.