The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the lead federal agency supporting scientific research on drug use and its consequences, is searching for new partners who would supply cannabis for research purposes.
To be eligible to aid with the "acquisition and/or production of cannabis and related materials," the partnering facilities need to be authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to cultivate marijuana, according to the special notice issued on Friday.
While the number of direct suppliers with whom the federal drug agency plans to collaborate was not disclosed, NIDA issued a list of essential criteria for the interested parties as well as their responsibilities.
NIDA specified that the prospective businesses need to be capable of producing or procuring "cannabis, cannabis extract and other cannabis-derived materials for basic and clinical research, and conduct a quantitative and qualitative analysis, stability determination, and recommended storage conditions for these products for approved research."
Moreover, a contractor needs to be able to extract cannabis to "isolate pure THC and other cannabinoids," the notice said.
In addition, obtaining "cannabis extract of known potencies, manufacture marijuana cigarettes of varying potencies, and provide purified materials and marijuana cigarettes for research" will be their responsibility, according to the document.
Apart from cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, contractors are also expected to supply extracted CBN, CBC, CBG and other marijuana compounds.
"Interested organizations must demonstrate and document, in any capability statements submitted, extensive experience with and the ability to perform the above tasks," NIDA said. "Organizations should demonstrate a capability to administer and coordinate interrelated tasks in an effective and timely manner."
The End Of Monopoly
For decades, the University of Mississippi's facility held a monopoly as NIDA's only direct cannabis supplier under federal law. Last year, the DEA revealed that it is beginning to approve applications of several companies to become federally authorized marijuana producers for research purposes, reported Marijuana Moment.
Earlier this year, two of those companies—Groff North America Hemplex and Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC)— told the news outlet that they've obtained registrations from the regulatory body and have begun to cultivate and harvest their plants.
In February, NIDA began to promote federally funded research in cannabis by expressing interest in studies on differing cannabis regulatory models and consumption patterns across the U.S.
As part of the notice of interest, NIDA issued instructions for researchers on how to apply for funding.
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