The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) isn’t exactly known as big fan of marijuana. The anti-drug agency is moving to increase the amount of cannabis that can legally be grown in the U.S. for research purposes—from 1,000 pounds in 2018 to more than 5,400 pounds in 2019. DEA is also pushing to reduce the amount of certain opioid drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl that are produced in the U.S.
“We’ve lost too many lives to the opioid epidemic and families and communities suffer tragic consequences every day,” DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said in a press release. “This significant drop in prescriptions by doctors and DEA’s production quota adjustment will continue to reduce the amount of drugs available for illicit diversion and abuse while ensuring that patients will continue to have access to proper medicine.”
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization, added that “[c]utting opioid production quotas by an average of ten percent next year will help us continue that progress and make it harder to divert these drugs for abuse.” The proposed quotas for cannabis and other drugs “reflects the total amount of controlled substances necessary to meet the country’s medical, scientific, research, industrial, and export needs for the year and for the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks,” DEA said. The 2,450,000 grams of marijuana the narcotics agency wants grown in the country in 2019 is a significant bump up from the 443,680 grams the agency authorized for 2018. The DEA is also proposing to allow production of 384,460 grams of THC in 2019, the same amount the agency cleared for this year.
The DEA’s huge increase in marijuana production quotas for 2019 could be a sign that it anticipates eventual approval of some of the additional grower applications, or it could just indicate that reserve stocks at the Mississippi farm are getting low and that it’s time to re-up the federal cannabis stash as interest in marijuana’s medical benefits and other effects increases among the public and scientists who wish to study it. Once the DEA quota notice officially runs in the Federal Register, members of the public will be able to submit comments for a period of 30 days, after which time the agency may seek to amend and finalize the proposal.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a marijuana crime in New Jersey, be it possession or possession with intent to distribute, you must seek legal representation immediately. You likely have legal options you hadn’t considered, and you don’t want to face these charges without having explored every possible legal option for the best outcome.
Frank T. Luciano is a highly successful and experienced drug crime attorney operating in multiple areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Elmwood Park and Fort Lee. In nearly 40 years as a criminal defense attorney, there is almost no legal situation that Mr. Luciano has not seen and successfully navigated his clients through.
Give yourself the best chance at a positive legal outcome by contacting Frank T. Luciano’s New Jersey law office immediately at 973-471-0004.