The United States government’s cannabis grow operation
The U.S. government maintains its own giant stash of marijuana for use in official, federally funded cannabis studies. And that stash comes from a single, government-funded cannabis farm in Mississippi.
Beginning in 1968, the Coy Waller Laboratory Complex at the University of Mississippi has been the sole grower and provider of federally funded cannabis.
The grow operation, dubbed the Marijuana Research Project or M-Project for short, is situated on 12 acres of land in the hill country of northeast Mississippi. The farm is the U.S. government’s exclusive pot provider, which means that federally funded cannabis research projects are supposed to use weed grown here.
The Marijuana Research Project
As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains on its website:
“NIDA contracts with the University of Mississippi to grow marijuana for use in research studies. The University designates a secure plot of land where marijuana crops are grown every few years, based on current and expected demand. The marijuana is grown, harvested, stored, and made available as bulk marijuana or other purified elements of marijuana to use for research.”
The University of Mississippi Cannabis Grow
Last year, Uncle Sam renewed the university’s contract as the government’s exclusive pot provider when it contracted with the school to grow somewhere around 30,000 cannabis plants in exchange for $68.8 million.
At the time of the contract renewal, the government “said it’s interested in developing new methods for growing plants that contain a variety of different levels of , the chemical most responsible for pot’s psychological ‘high’ effect, and , a non-psychoactive ingredient claimed . . . to effectively treat medical disorders like epilepsy.”
Marijuana grown on the government’s cannabis farm is used in a number of research projects conducted on site at Ole Miss, but it is also shipped to researchers throughout the country.
Before you get any ideas about hopping the fence and stealing a little bit of Uncle Sam’s stash, however, you should be aware that the field is kept under tight security.
Uncle Sam’s Stash
“I think the last time was 20 years ago, and it wasn’t really that much,” Mahmoud ElSohly, a pharmacologist at Ole Miss who has run the M-Project for the past 35 years, told reporters.
“Since then, we had the cameras in the field and motion detectors. Of course, we’ve always had guards, and we’re adding electronic security.”
Looks like Uncle Sam is keeping his stash on lock-down. In the meantime, let’s just hope that the ganja grown at Ole Miss is put to good research use rather than steered into sham anti-pot studies.