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NIH Is Looking For Someone To Roll Its Joints

Interested applicants must be able to produce marijuana cigarettes of varying strengths.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking a contractor to manufacture “marijuana cigarettes.” In a posting from October 24, the United States’ premier health research organization requires applicants prove they are a small business capable of producing and shipping the wares.

The NIH is seeking quality. An ideal contractor would be able to “manufacture standardized marijuana cigarettes within a range of varying concentrations of delta-9-THC.” Delta-9-THC is the active psychotropic ingredient in marijuana. It’s more commonly referred to simply as THC.

Street smarts matter too. Contractors need to show the ability to “acquire hard-to-find controlled and uncontrolled drug compounds and/or drug dosage forms and analyze purity, authenticity, and stability of these compounds.”

With Canada legalizing recreational marijuana use and more U.S. states poised to relax the drug’s criminal enforcement, studies on the impacts of habitual use is a pressing issue for health researchers. While its effects on nausea—as an appetite promoter—and as a painkiller are well documented, the drug’s impacts on dependency and withdrawal are less understood. U.S. authorities have stymied efforts to study them in the past.

No scientific study is complete without a proper control. The NIH requests that qualified candidates be able to roll “nicotine research cigarettes,” to aid the investigators.

Couch potatoes need not apply: the NIH is seeking punctual candidates. “Organizations should demonstrate [a] capability to administer and coordinate interrelated tasks in an effective and timely manner.” Noting applications be received: “NO LATER THAN 5 pm Eastern time November 8, 2018.” The all-caps emphasis is theirs.