The National Institute on Drug Abuse is seeking new partners that can supply cannabis for study purposes. Last week, the federal drug agency posted a notice on its website for organizations authorized by the DEA to grow marijuana that could acquire or produce marijuana and related materials for research.
Before the DEA recently ended the University of Mississippi’s monopoly on cannabis supply and agreed to approve new licenses, the National Institute on Drug Abuse had only a single supplier of marijuana for research. While the agency hasn’t stated how many suppliers it needs, it has listed the criteria for a prospective contract and the responsibilities the new partners would undertake.
In the notice, the agency stated that interested parties would need to be able to procure or produce marijuana, marijuana extract and other marijuana-derived materials for clinical and basic research. In addition, the parties would be required to carry out stability determination, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and recommend suitable conditions for the storage of these products for approved studies.
The agency also revealed that it hoped its studies would focus on less-known cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC and CBN, in addition to better-known ones, including CBD and THC. The agency then noted that organizations that were interested needed to document and demonstrate that they had considerable experience and were capable of administering and coordinating interrelated tasks in a timely and effective manner.
For some time, legislators and experts have been protesting against the exclusive supply of cannabis that the National Institute on Drug Abuse had depended on, arguing that research done using this cannabis had skewed findings. Researchers added that the marijuana’s status under the Controlled Substances Act also hindered studies on marijuana. The status discourages scientists from taking on research on marijuana, as has been stated by Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
In a recent interview, Volkow revealed that she herself wasn’t keen on going through the taxing process of acquiring approval to conduct research on substances such as cannabis because they were classified under Schedule I. Many hope that once the DEA approves more cannabis manufacturers, the quality and diversity of marijuana products will increase, even if the substance remains classified under Schedule I.
In addition to giving approval to new manufacturers, the Drug Enforcement Administration is planning to increase yearly production quotas for cannabis and psilocybin, among other substances, as demand from the scientific community continues to grow.
As the conditions that companies such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) have to meet in order to study marijuana ease, we are likely to see plenty of data-backed information becoming available to the public and policymakers.
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