DEA Notice Shows Research Amounts Increasing for THC, Psilocybin and DMT

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) put out a notice on the Federal Register on January 3 that includes the most up-to-date list of Schedule I substances in its 2024 aggregate production quotas (APQ) and a lot of feedback from the public and responses from the DEA.

The Federal Register released an article in November 2023 that said the proposed amount of delta-9 THC (called “d-9-THC” on the list) for 2024 was 900,610 grams. The 2024 APQ now has 1,523,040 grams of delta-9 THC. Compared to the previous year, the set limit for delta-9 THC in 2023 was 384,460 grams, but it was later raised to 628,460 grams.

That same Federal Register piece from November 2023 said that 790,010 grams of “all other tetrahydrocannabinol” should be allowed. The THC limit is now set at 1,166,130 grams in the 2024 APQ. The DEA put the suggested new quotas for 2023 at 350,000 for general THC and 15,000 for established quotas in an October 2023 APQ adjustments report.

The DEA also asked for 20,000 grams of psilocybin, when the previous limit of 8,000 grams had been raised to 15,000. DMT (5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) was also mentioned at 3,000 grams in October and November 2023, but in January 2024, it was changed to show that it had gone up to 11,000 grams.

The plans for making other drugs, like marijuana (6,675,000 grams), marijuana extract (1,000,000 grams), psilocin (24,000 grams), ibogaine (150 grams), MDMA (12,000 grams), and mescaline (1,200 grams), have not changed since November 2023. Due to more interest, the DEA has slowly raised the limits on many of these drugs over time.

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In its November report, the DEA talked about what it thought this trend would mean. As a result of more study and clinical trials, a lot more schedule I hallucinogenic controlled substances are being used, the DEA wrote. According to the DEA, they have received and approved new registration requests for Schedule I researchers and new registration requests from manufacturers to grow, synthesize, extract, and make dosage forms with certain Schedule I hallucinogens for research and clinical trial use.

The report’s public comment section is made up of 4,699 comments “from DEA registrants, people with chronic pain, patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pain advocacy groups, U.S. professional associations, U.S. nurses, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Australian ADHD Professionals Association, the ADHD Foundation Australia, and others.” The comments were about a lot of different things, like the lack of opioid drugs, the use of stimulant drugs in both the US and Australia, and more.

These three manufacturers asked that the suggested APQ for “dexmethylphenidate (for conversion), lisdexamfetamine, and psilocybin be set at sufficient levels for manufacturers to meet medical and scientific needs” in one of the comments. The DEA also got requests for quotas “for 4-Anilino-N-phenethyl-4piperidine (4-ANPP), all other tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, dimethyltryptamine, fentanyl, and pentobarbital.”

Some people have said that they use Schedule I drugs for religious purposes. These drugs include “psilocin, psilocybin, mescaline, ibogaine, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 2-(4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl) ethanamine (2CI), dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 5-methoxy-NN dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT)”. In one case, the Native American Church asked that the APQ for mescaline (also known as peyote) be raised so that they could use it and that it could be planted in the wild because there wasn’t enough of it.

The person who posted the comment said that the DEA “has disregarded their legal religious use of psychedelics as a factor when setting the production quotas of these substances.” They also asked for a hearing if the agency did not agree with their requests. When the DEA replied, they only said that they had worked with indigenous communities before and didn’t say anything about the comment.

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