Recently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) reached out for help to assist in burning about 1,000 pounds of cannabis per hour for eight hours straight. Each year, the DEA seizes tons of raw marijuana and millions of cannabis plants, which are usually destroyed. The contractor that performs this is responsible to oversee the burning of cannabis as well as other controlled substances that have been confiscated as evidence in drug cases.
The DEA stated that it would inspect the incinerator used in the process to ensure that no drug residue remained. The work description was posted earlier this month in a “sources sought notice.”
The post states that the description was not a request and doesn’t require the government to award a contract. It goes on to add that the DEA is carrying out market research and encourages all businesses, small and large scale, to respond to the notice. The statement that accompanies the post provides a behind-the-scenes view of how the DEA destroys the seized drugs.
Normal boxes are said to weigh between 40 to 60 pounds but can weigh four to five times that. The contraband may also come in on forklifts, cargo vans, tractor trailers and semi-trucks.
The description adds that the drugs are usually tightly packed “bales” or ‘”bricks” and are packaged in various materials, including oil/grease, plastic evidence bags, packing tape, plastic wrap, wrapping paper, cardboard and others. Contractors are expected to destroy the packaging as well.
There must be no smoke buildup, and proper ventilation is needed in order to avoid potential contact highs. Other mandates include regular drug checks for all personnel, mandatory background checks, and the careful placement of closed-circuit cameras that record the entire process of destroying the contraband. It should be noted that the DEA reserves the right to access these cameras.
Contractors and armed DEA agents will be in attendance on days that burning has been scheduled. Additionally, the contractor and on-site personnel will be required to hold all the information acquired under the DEA contract private. The information provided should only be used in performing the tasks outlined in the contract and should not be disclosed in any manner.
The work description concludes by stating that the work would start on January 1, 2021, and the contract would expire in 2026 — unless it is terminated sooner. The deadline to send in information for any contractor that would like to apply for the job was October 23.
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