The Justice Department is moving forward to expand the number of marijuana growers for federally-authorized cannabis research.
Uttam Dhillon, the acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, says Monday's move would give researchers a wider variety of cannabis to study. He says the DEA supports additional marijuana research.
The DEA says the number of people registered to conduct research with marijuana and extracts has jumped more than 40 percent in the last two years. The agency is also planning to propose new regulations to govern the marijuana growers' program.
Researchers at federally-funded entities have faced legal barriers in recent years because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even as a growing number of states have legalized medical and so-called recreational marijuana.