US federal drug agency seeking cannabis grower capable of cultivating and analyzing 4 million grams of cannabis

A top federal drug agency is now officially soliciting proposals for a contractor to grow, harvest, and analyze millions of grams of cannabis for research purposes.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published a request for proposal (RFP) notice last week, stating that it’s seeking manufacturers that are capable of cultivating, testing, and rolling joints of about four million grams of cannabis over a five-year period.

For more than 50 years, NIDA has relied exclusively on cannabis grown by a single farm at the University of Mississippi for studies that it oversees. But in recent months, several additional cultivators have been licensed. If one of those is awarded a contract under the new RFP, it will finally end the half-century monopoly—though NIDA said it “reserves the right to make a single award, multiple awards, or no award at all to the solicitation.”

Applicants must possess a Schedule I research registration from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in order to supply NIDA with the bulk cannabis. The 172-page RFP lays out the extensive requirements for contractors and descriptions of the tasks.

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