The federal government is, again, soliciting help to “acquire, develop and produce” marijuana cigarettes (i.e. joints) for research purposes.
In a notice published on Tuesday, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) said that it will soon be accepting applications for a contract award for facilities that are able to “manufacture standardized marijuana cigarettes within a range of varying concentrations of delta-9-THC and analyze strength and stability of them at various intervals while having the capability to maintain a secure shipping facility and to ship marijuana cigarettes to research investigators.”
In addition to rolling cannabis joints “of varying strengths and specifications,” other job requirements include being able to “analyze and characterize various drugs of abuse including cannabinoids.”
NIDA issued a similar posting last year calling for applications to manufacture “marijuana cigarettes” with cannabis that contains a wide range of THC levels. That previous listing appears to have been a preliminary step toward Tuesday’s announcement.
The contractor selected for the opening must have “extensive experience in carrying out the project tasks and must demonstrate the availability of adequate facilities and equipment.”
The listing doesn’t mention whether personal, as opposed to professional, experience qualifies an individual for the contract. While it says that “NIDA will consider proposals submitted by any responsible offeror,” applicants must obtain numerous licenses required to handle Schedule I substances in order to be selected.
Other requirements are listed as such:
“Acquire hard-to-find controlled and uncontrolled drug compounds and/or drug dosage forms and analyze purity, authenticity, and stability of these compounds while storing them in a secure and DEA-approved facility and having the capability to ship these compounds to research investigators.”
“Manufacture nicotine research cigarettes and analyze them for required chemical constituents at various intervals while having the capability to store and ship securely these nicotine research cigarettes to research investigators.”
Additionally, the successful contractor must demonstrate the “availability of a DEA approved and secure storage (vault) facility to maintain an inventory of approximately 300 stock items that require refrigeration” and needs to “possess experience in analytical chemistry, formulation of drug dosage forms, manufacturing marijuana and nicotine research cigarettes, storage, shipping, and handling of drug compounds, controlled drugs, nicotine cigarettes, and appropriate facility and equipment to perform tasks required under the proposal.”
Apparently, there’s a lot of public interest in taking on federal cannabis-related jobs. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently asked that private citizens stop calling them about an opening for a bulk marijuana incinerator position after getting an outpouring of inquires.
“Although we appreciate local citizens’ willingness to offer their help, this is a complicated, large-scale government contract we’re required by law to bid every few years, and there are usually only a handful of companies with the necessary facilities and resources to help us dispose of this material,” the agency’s Houston division said in a statement.
NIDA said that the formal “request for contract proposals” to become the federal government’s official joint roller will be published on or around April 16, and applications will be due about 30 days after that posting.