The money was awarded Monday by a branch of the National Institutes of Health and is expected to bring production up 30,000 plants, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The government said it’s interested in developing new methods for growing plants that contain a variety of different levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical most responsible for pot’s psychological “high” effect, and cannabidiol, a nonpychoactive ingredient claimed in high-profile anecdotes to effectively treat medical disorders like epilepsy.
When the contract solicitation was posted online in August, NIDA spokeswoman Shirley Simson told TIME that the agency was simply starting a new bidding competition since its existing marijuana farm contract was set to expire in 2015.
As it stands now, almost half of all of the states in the U.S. allow for the use of medical marijuana and 4 states that have legalized it out right, with several others expected to follow in the coming years.
Mississippi may see itself among the ranks with those listed above. Already the state has Mississippi House Bill 1231 or "The Harper Grace Bill" which allows for the extraction of cannabidiol from marijuana for medical purposes. Back in June of 2014, we sat down for a podcast with Senator Josh Harkins who helped create and pass the bill, as well as the mother of the girl whom the bill is named after, Ashley Durval. You can listen to it below which was recorded in the Supreme Court Chamber at the capital in Jackson (Video 1 of 2).
Now, Mississippi also has a dedicated group who is seeking to legalize marijuana and hemp production, headed by activist Kelly Jacobs, who also agreed to a podcast with Coastal Noise back in January of this year. You can hear that interview below as well (Video 2 of 2).
CNP #43-Kelly Jacobs