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Nation’s Only Federally Authorized Grower Provides Marijuana for Research Community

  • The University of Mississippi is the only federally authorized grower of marijuana visa-vie the university’s relationship with the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
  • Mahmoud ElSohly, PhD, the co-director of the marijuana project: “We are doing our best to make sure that materials are available for research for whatever indications, whatever varieties, whatever chemical compositions is needed for doing that research,” 

With 29 states and counting currently allowing medical marijuana, research on new and better usages is becoming increasingly important.

Much of the research community relies on the University of Mississippi, the only federally authorized grower of marijuana, under a contract with the National Institute of Drug Abuse, to supply the plant material needed to continue exploring medicinal marijuana research.

“We are doing our best to make sure that materials are available for research for whatever indications, whatever varieties, whatever chemical compositions is needed for doing that research,” said Mahmoud ElSohly, PhD, the co-director of the marijuana project as part of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s National Center for Natural Products Research, in an interview with R&D Magazine. “Our main function is to standardize marijuana for research. We do not use any herbicides or pesticides, we do not use spray; it’s basically organically grown.”

The university currently conducts research on the botanical, pharmacological and chemical properties of the cannabis plant and ultimately supplies the research community through the university’s partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse Drug Supply Program. This program supports the development and commercialization of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug products derived from cannabis.

Along with growing the cannabis plants used for research, the group also monitors the potency of illicit marijuana seized by law enforcement and manufactures extracts from cannabis plants for investigators.

There are 483 known compounds in a cannabis plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive part…

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