The money will go to a cannabis research lab at the university, which is the sole producer of cannabis used for federal research. The project is expected to lead to the cultivation of at least 30,000 plants.
NIDA is mandating that the cannabis be cultivated at a “secure and video monitored outdoor facility of approximately 12 acres”, that can handle the “cultivation, growing, harvesting, analyzing, and storing of research grade cannabis,” according to a posting on a federal government website. “The indoor facility must be at least 1000 square feet, having controls for light intensity, photo cycles, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration”.
NIDA recently announced that they’ll be allowing scientists to use signficiantly more potent cannabis than previously allowed when researching the plant.
“We want to be able to evaluate the claims that marijuana is therapeutically beneficial,” said Nora Volkow, director of NIDA in Rockville, Maryland.