The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to announce Thursday the removal of significant roadblocks to medical marijuana research, The New York Times reported late Wednesday.

However, the DEA will leave marijuana as a Schedule I substance, according to the Times.

The DEA plans to increase the supply of marijuana federally approved for research by allowing other universities to apply to grow cannabis, the Times reported, citing unnamed sources. Currently, only the University of Mississippi has the authority to grow marijuana for research purposes via funding through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and as of April 4, it had 185 batches of marijuana, according to a DEA letter to members of Congress.

Some researchers and lawmakers have bristled at the “NIDA monopoly.”

In recent weeks, researcher Dr. Sue Sisley, who is leading the first placebo-controlled trial that uses raw marijuana for a study on post-traumatic stress disorder, said her team had yet to receive the plant material required for the trial. NIDA also failed to achieve the phenotype and potency requested, she said.

DEA spokesman Russell Baer on Wednesday confirmed to The Cannabist that a “marijuana-related” announcement would come Thursday morning, but did not disclose specifics.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who has backed marijuana reform efforts including allowing Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss cannabis with patients, lauded the potential to remove “the National Institute on Drug Abuse monopoly.”

“It’s outrageous that federal policy has blocked science for so long,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “However, this decision doesn’t go far enough and is further evidence that the DEA doesn’t get it. Keeping marijuana at Schedule I continues an outdated, failed approach — leaving patients and marijuana businesses trapped between state and federal laws.”

Last week, Baer told The Cannabist that the DEA was in the “final stages” of determining whether to reclassify marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Currently, marijuana is listed among Schedule I drugs — alongside heroin, LSD and ecstasy — which are defined by the act as the “most dangerous,” have high potential for abuse and no medical use.

As the schedule changes, progressing to Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV and Schedule V, the abuse potential, as well as psychological and physical dependence lessen.

Industry experts have speculated that marijuana could be classified under Schedule II, joining the likes of cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, fentanyl, Adderall, Vicodin and Ritalin.

Rescheduling marijuana likely could lift some barriers to research, allow physicians to prescribe cannabis, allow the industry to import and export across state lines, ease restrictions on banking and give protections to workers, analysts have stated.

Earlier Wednesday, the National Conference of State Legislators filed a resolution imploring Congress and federal regulators to remove marijuana from Schedule I classification so that legal cannabis businesses could openly bank.

“Without banking options, cannabis-related businesses are forced to operate exclusively in cash; and a large and growing cash-only industry attracts criminal activity and creates substantial public safety risks,” according to the resolution. “A cash-only industry reduces transparency in accounting and makes it difficult for the state to implement an effective regulatory regime that ensures compliance.”

Late last year, several members of Congress sent a letter to the DEA, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of National Drug Control Policy inquiring about medical marijuana research and the potential for rescheduling, according to The Washington Post. In the DEA’s April response, officials said the agency “hopes to release its determination in the first half of 2016.”