Despite the many obstacles and restrictions hindering federally-funded research into marijuana, the government still supports a handful of studies on the drug. And to make sure researchers can actually get their hands on the prohibited, controlled substance, the feds regularly contract with cultivators and producers to source marijuana. On Tuesday, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) put out its latest call for research-grade cannabis products. And it’s specifically looking for an applicant with the skills to “acquire, develop and produce” cannabis cigarettes for federal research. In short, the government needs an accomplished joint roller.
NIDA Is Accepting Applications for a Job Rolling Joints for Federal Researchers
NIDA has so far only issued advance notice of its request for joint-rolling proposals. The official call will likely go out April 16, at which point the agency will accept applications for about 30 days. Of course, the call for proposals is looking for a bit more than a seasoned joint-roller. According to NIDA, the federal government wants an offerer for the contract who can “acquire, develop, and produce marijuana and nicotine research cigarettes of varying strengths and specifications.”
In other words, the feds want joints ranging from light doses of THC to heavy doses, filled with various quantities of cannabis. They want an organization that “will be be able to produce drug dosage forms, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC).” But they also want proposals from organizations that are able to “acquire hard-to-find controlled and uncontrolled drug compounds,” including methadone, morphine and naltrexone.
In addition to rolling joints of various potencies and quantities, NIDA requires offerers to be able to analyze the “purity, authenticity and stability of these compounds,” while also storing them in secure facilities. A final requirement ensures that whoever wins the contract will have the ability to actually ship joints to research investigators. So while hands-on expertise with the art and science of joint rolling is a must, so too are a number of expensive, hard-to-get licenses and registrations. After all, the federal government still consider cannabis a dangerous Schedule I drug.
It Will Take More than Superb Joint-Rolling Skills to Win the Government Contract
NIDA’s request for proposals says it will consider applications from “any responsible offerer.” But it will take more than superb jointcraft to win the contract. The announcement in fact lists several mandatory evaluation criteria that single individuals are highly unlikely to possess.
In the first place, offerers need to have a bevy of expensive and hard-to-get licenses. They’ll need a current DEA registration for handling Schedule II to V substances and the ability to obtain a DEA registration for Schedule I substances, like weed, heroin and meth, prior to winning the contract. They’ll also need DEA registrations for researching, manufacturing, distributing, importing and exporting controlled substances. Once the registrations are in place, offerers will need to prove they have access to a DEA-approved secure storage facility that can handle about 300 joints.
In addition to DEA registrations, NIDA specifies that offerers must “register with the FDA as a pharmaceutical manufacturer for both sterile products and for drug dosage forms.”
And that’s still not all. NIDA requires offerers to “possess experience in analytical chemistry, formulation of drug dosage forms, manufacturing marijuana and nicotine research cigarettes, storage, shipping and handling of drug compounds” and more, including access to the facilities and equipment necessary to execute the contract. Put simply, the contract is looking for someone with professional cannabis industry experience and access. So no matter how good you are at rolling joints, this job is likely out of your league.