Wanted: Someone to grow marijuana for the federal government. Benefits: A contract likely worth millions and the chance to enable medical research. Requirements: Ability to deal with the costs and regulations that come with growing an illegal drug for the federal government.
For more than four decades, the University of Mississippi has had an exclusive license with the government to grow marijuana for federally sanctioned research. But this month, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it would grant permission to other growers — an effort, it said, to expand the supply and variety of marijuana available for research.
So has the change set off a gold rush to grow the green? Not exactly.
STAT contacted almost a dozen agricultural schools, including those with industrial hemp programs, to gauge their eagerness to grow marijuana for the government.
Not interested, said Cornell University, the University of Kentucky, and Virginia Tech. Ditto, said Michigan State University,