A key federal agency has just sent out a call to the cannabis industry requesting that companies with the technology to analyze marijuana, including cannabis from state-sanctioned dispensaries, provide information for cannabis research.
In a recent notice for the investigation of cannabis for research from NIDA, the agency stated that it was looking for input from players in the cannabis industry that could provide more scientific information on the benefits and risks of marijuana.
NIDA asked for statements from businesses with the technical know-how, with the aim of collecting crucial information about cannabis, cannabis-infused products and any related materials to help inform its research on cannabis.
Technologically capable companies that come forward will be required to analyze samples of confiscated marijuana that have been submitted by law agencies or any other entity sanctioned by the federal agency. Furthermore, these samples will be drawn from seized cannabis products that were intended for public sale and consumption, not from plants that were grown specifically for research purposes. This will address an issue that has long plagued the cannabis sector and hindered cannabis research.
Federal law prohibits scientists from using cannabis sourced from dispensaries in their studies. Rather, they are only allowed to use cannabis grown at a cannabis research facility in the University of Mississippi. Researchers who have interacted with the cannabis grown at the facility argue that it is low quality and less potent than the cannabis sold in dispensaries and barely qualifies as cannabis.
This has had a negative impact on cannabis research and even called into question the validity of data sourced from marijuana research as the plants being researched are quite different from the plants being consumed by the public.
This new notice seems to open up the possibilities for researching commercial-grade cannabis rather than just government-grown plants. It states that the agency is interested in the analysis of cannabis from several sources and this potentially includes state-legal dispensaries.
NIDA still notes that federal law currently prohibits it from directly purchasing cannabis samples from dispensaries. As such, the agency will study commercial-grade cannabis through collaborations with law enforcement agencies and the marijuana research facility at the University of Mississippi.
At the moment, however, the agency’s drug-supply program only delivers government-grown cannabis to researchers for external investigation.
In recent months, the DEA has also taken steps to increase the number of growers authorized to cultivate cannabis for research purposes. It has also proposed an increase in the amount of cannabis grown annually for scientific research.
As cannabis research becomes less onerous to conduct, we are likely to see a flurry of innovative products commercialized by leading marijuana companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) in their bid to meet the interests of different market segments.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/FLGC
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