There’s no need to reread that headline. Although it may seem like some sort of cruel hoax, it’s not. It’s been confirmed that the federal government has begun its search for the best and brightest in the world at growing pot.
A job listing was placed on a federal government business opportunities website earlier this week, soliciting proposals from qualified persons that are interested in possibly assisting them with cannabis research. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a research institute dedicated to studying the science of addiction, is seeking skilled, large-scale farmers to cultivate, harvest, process, analyze, store and distribute marijuana.
In order to qualify, interested applicants must currently be registered to handle Schedule II through V substances with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and be able to obtain permission to manufacture, research or distribute Schedule I substances. Applicants can choose whether they prefer to grow marijuana indoors or outdoors but must be able to prove that they possess a certain amount of space before any contracts can be awarded. Outdoor cultivators must possess 12 acres of secure land monitored by video. Indoor cultivators will need to possess facilities that have at least 1,000 square feet of space available with controls for light intensity, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide concentrations.
Applicants will need to have a secured storage facility approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the DEA where they can maintain 400 to 700 kilograms of cannabis.
Although the advertisement doesn’t commit the agency to fulfill the contract, they have some pretty interesting plans for advanced growers including developing methods of growing cannabis with altered levels of compounds: some high in THC and low in CBD, some high in CBD and low in THC and others of equal amounts of THC and CBD.
Shirley Simson, a spokesperson for NIDA, said that the organization is beginning a new bidding competition because its existing contract for marijuana farms is set to expire next year. They anticipate that contracts will be awarded for one year with the potential for four-year options after profitable first year.
“It’s a free and open competition — we will consider proposals from any responsible offers,” NIDA told Newsweek.
Do you have awesome growing skills? Will you be applying to grow pot for the government? Tell us what you think in the comments.