In the Weeds: New USDA Hemp Survey, FBI Allegedly Investigates State Licensing and DEA Raises Production Quotas – Lexology

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USDA Hemp Survey. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asked hemp growers to complete a survey gathering information on the total planted and harvested area, yield, production and value of hemp in the United States. According to the USDA website, the survey will “collect data for hemp produced in the open as well as under cover (greenhouses, low or high tunnels, hoop houses, etc.).” The agency will mail notices and reminders to operators to encourage participation. According to the website FAQs, the information provided will be used for statistical purposes only, and all responses will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed in identifiable form. Cannabis License Investigations. According to news articles, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is allegedly investigating whether corrupt practices were potentially involved in issuing Nevada’s cannabis licenses. Nevada is one of several states where the licensure process is being called into question. DEA Increases Production Quotas. On Sept. 2, 2021, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a proposed rule to adjust aggregate production quotas (APQs) for schedule I and II controlled substances, which includes significant increases to the APQs of psilocybin, psilocin, marijuana and marijuana extract. According to the proposed rule, these increases are directly related to increased interest by DEA registrants in the use of hallucinogenic controlled substances for research and clinical trial purposes. The proposed rule further states that DEA believes in supporting regulated research of schedule I controlled substances and the APQ increases reflect the need to further research for the production of new drug products, and the study of marijuana effects in particular, as necessary steps toward potential Food and Drug Administration approval of new drug products. Written comments must be postmarked on or before Oct. 4, 2021.

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