The state attorney general’s office in Colorado asked the federal government to allow colleges and universities in the state to “obtain marijuana from non-federal government sources” for research purposes, The Denver Post‘s John Ingold reports.
The 1961 United Nations treaty on Narcotic Drugs stipulated that only one location in a country can legally grow and distribute marijuana for research purposes. Since 1968, the United States’ designated location has been the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research, which grows marijuana and then sends it to approved researchers.
The University of Mississippi’s contract with the federal government, however, expires this year, meaning that the state attorney general’s letter may represent an early attempt by Colorado to ascertain the federal government’s willingness to do away with the UN treaty’s “single location” requirement.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has already demonstrated a willingness to change how the federal government’s product it produced and distributed. Last year, it increased the amount of marijuana the federally approved supplier can produce from 21 kilograms to 650 kilograms.
Moreover, the state attorney general’s letter stated that the current system — even given allowances for increased production — does not provide the product the state requires to research the strains available in Colorado’s commercial market.
As noted in the letter, the state needs “the support of our federal partners to overcome the inertia that continues to complicate state efforts in this area.”