Marijuana Research

The University of Mississippi

NIDA Contract

Propagating marijuana tissue culture at the University of Mississippi

The School of Pharmacy’s National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) has been awarded a federal contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to provide materials to support research on cannabis and its constituents. The statement of work for this contract is specified in NIDA’s request for proposal N01DA-15-7793 which includes these objectives:

  • Cultivate, process, analyze, store and distribute cannabis for research.
  • Extract cannabis to produce pure and standardized (pharmaceutical-grade) cannabis extracts containing varying concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
  • Isolate cGMP and research grade THC, CBD and other cannabinoids.
  • Periodically analyze cannabis extracts and isolated cannabinoids for authenticity, purity and stability.
  • Develop new methods for growing cannabis plants with specific cannabinoid profiles.
  • Manufacture, analyze, determine stability, store and supply marijuana cigarettes.
  • Supply cannabis, cannabis extract, other cannabinoids and marijuana cigarettes to the NIDA Drug Supply program for distribution to research investigators upon NIDA authorization.

Based on its proven capabilities of providing pharmaceutical-grade marijuana and marijuana-derived materials to NIDA’s Drug Supply Program, UM is the only institution to be awarded this contract since its inception in 1968. NIDA advertises and requests proposals for this competitive contract every five years under an open solicitation process. 

Marijuana grow room at the University of MississippiUM receives approximately $1.5 million from NIDA each year of the five-year contract to carry out the obligations of the contract. The amount varies depending on which of the various options NIDA chooses to exercise in order to meet the needs of researchers. Erroneous reports of a $69 million award from NIDA are due to a misunderstanding of how federal agencies publicly report the amount of funds “obligated” to a contract. The published “Contract Award Dollar Amount” is a total of all possible options. Qualified investigators holding a DEA Schedule-I registration may obtain marijuana materials for studies through the NIDA Drug Supply Program