The US government recently significantly increased its annual order for marijuana.
The U.S. government has significantly increased its annual order for marijuana.
Now, both its dealer, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and supplier, a special lab at the University of Mississippi, School of Pharmacy, are scrambling to meet the demand.
Originally, only about 45 pounds was requested for the entirety of the fiscal year ending in June of 2014.
The marijuana is headed for the National Institute on Drug Abuse to test its medicinal uses. The NIDA has beefed up its research as legalization initiatives expand, and now requires 650 kilograms, that’s over 1400 pounds.
Research initiatives on their roster have been expanded in numerous areas of treatment, including possibilities for autoimmune disease, pain, psychiatric disorders, seizures, and cancer.
The DEA acknowledges that the request is huge, but necessary so the research can carry on unhindered.
Workers at the Mississippi medicinal plant facility have been instructed to produce the goods, "as soon as practicable."
Said a spokeswoman for the agency, "That's a lot of marijuana. One kilogram is equivalent to a brick. So 650 kilograms would look like 650 bricks and would probably fill a cargo van."
Non-government experts have estimated the street value of such a haul to be about 650 thousand dollars.