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NIDA is looking for more cannabis suppliers.
We spotted a notice for “sources sought” from the National Institutes of Health entitled “Production of Cannabis and Related Materials for Research.”
Specifically, the National Institute on Drug Abuse is seeking “capability statements from all businesses having the in-house capability to act as a centralized source for acquisition and/or production of cannabis and related materials for research purposes.”
Some context: for decades, NIDA has relied on cannabis from what was until last year the sole federally-licensed cannabis-for-research farm, at the University of Mississippi.
As Cannabis Wire has reported, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has awarded a handful of new licenses – the first expansion of federally-licensed cannabis cultivation in history.
This notice provides the first opportunity since these new licenses were awarded for these entities to develop a direct supplier relationship with the federal entity (NIDA) that essentially serves as a gatekeeper for cannabis research in the U.S.
Clinical trial underway for cannabinoid breathalyzer is already “promising.”
The trial, underway at Harvard’s McLean Hospital, is targeting opioid and cannabinoid-related impairment and abuse.
The trial is “intended to lead to the development and demonstration of a breathalyzer instrument capable of detecting and quantitatively measuring drugs (i.e. cannabinoids and opioids) in exhaled breath.”
There are currently no accurate breathalyzer tests that accurately screen for cannabis-related impairment.
“If such a method becomes available it can be used by law enforcement and in doctors’ offices, hospital emergency rooms, ambulances and other government agencies, military bases and companies seeking to screen employees for drug abuse,” the trial notice reads.
“Initial results” of the clinical study are “promising,” and another small pilot study will also be conducted to “demonstrate feasibility for using breath analysis as a proxy for the concentration of cannabinoids in the blood.”
New York bill targets “sticker stores.”
A bill filed last week by Sen. Thomas O’Mara takes aim at “persons utilizing commercial establishments as a front to distribute cannabis in violations” of the state’s cannabis law, and seeks to impose civil penalties for both initial and “recurrent” violations.
Plenty of unlicensed operators have exploited what they say is a loophole in state law that allows gifting of cannabis. These operators sell, say, a $100 sticker, and “gift” a cannabis product to the sticker customer.
New York regulators have started to crack down on these operators, as Cannabis Wire has reported, including through 52 cease and desist letters (when pressed last week about any additional enforcement, OCM spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman told Cannabis Wire “We’ve been clear that adult-use cannabis sales are not currently allowed, as we have not yet issued such licenses. We have also been clear that if those operations don’t stop, there will be consequences ranging from significant fines to running the risk of not getting a license to join the market when it opens.”)
Regulators have been saying similar statements since the winter.
“All of them are absolutely illegal. They are offering you cannabis if you purchase something else, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a sticker or if it is a can of coffee or if it’s a t-shirt, all of those exchanges are illegal,” Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said during a February virtual “Cannabis Conversation” outreach event. “These products are not known to be tested. You don’t know that they’re safe. We’re asking you not to participate in those sales.”
The sticker stores, converted food trucks, and pop-up cannabis shops continue, threatening to shake the foundation of the legal market when it launches later this year.
“Despite enforcement actions taken by the Office of Cannabis Management, these stores continue to violate the law with minimal consequences. This proposal would make clear that no such ‘loophole’ exists and would empower the State to prosecute these individuals both criminally and civilly in order to deter businesses from participating in these unlawful activities,” the bill reads.