The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) held a workshop on December 8 to interact with representatives of various cannabis industry stakeholders and federal agencies to discuss cannabinoid research. At the end of that workshop, the federal agency announced four funding opportunities for entities that were interested in conducting research on natural products like cannabis.
For example, one funding opportunity is earmarked for looking into how cannabinoids, excluding THC, affect pain.
Those four research projects are also intended to map the “biological signature” of the natural products being studied as well as establishing dosage levels in case those products are found to be therapeutic.
The researchers who want to access the funding need to secure authorization from the different federal government agencies, such as the DEA, which have jurisdiction over the controlled substances in question. Additionally, the researchers should provide detailed plans of how they intend to conduct the studies.
It is interesting to note that only one of the four funding opportunities makes a direct reference to marijuana even if the content of the briefs appear to focus on cannabis. The careful wording may be an attempt to work around the existing restrictions on funding cannabis research.
The current call for research proposals comes after the Drug Enforcement Administration granted different cultivators authorization to grow approximately 5.400 pounds of marijuana in 2019. This quantity more than quadruples what was grown with DEA permission in 2018.
The agency explained that the spike in the quantity of cannabis grown with the agency’s approval was intended to meet the huge demand for research-grade cannabis in the coming year.
The increased supply from different sources is expected to ease some of the frustrations that researchers had with the Mississippi farm where cannabis could only be obtained in previous years. Researchers complained that they couldn’t obtain sufficient quantities from that Mississippi farm, and even when they got the cannabis it was of such poor quality that it would hardly serve the purpose for which it was obtained.
The fact that different government agencies participated in the workshop organized by NCCIH may indicate that there is a conversation going on within the federal government about cannabis. It is possible that the feds are giving serious thought to the possibility of passing legislation to allow medical cannabis at some point in the future. If that wasn’t the case, then federal money wouldn’t be channeled into cannabis research, or researchers wouldn’t be permitted to study cannabis.
Golden Developing Solutions, Inc. (OTC: DVLP), Green Hygienics Holdings, Inc. (OTC: GRYN) and other stakeholders hope that the funding opportunities increase, and that the federal government eases its prohibitionist stance on marijuana.
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