In 2014, NIDA awarded a contract to the University of Mississippi for the production of marijuana for research purposes (see: Request for Proposals (RFP) No. N01DA-15-7793 “Production, Analysis and Distribution of Cannabis, Marijuana Cigarettes and Related Materials"). The RFP was released under full and open competition procedures, therefore any individual or organization could have submitted a proposal. NIDA received more than one proposal, however the exact number and names of the individuals and/or organizations that submitted proposals for the RFP is procurement-sensitive information and cannot be released by the federal government. The contract is a base 1-year contract with four 1-year options. However, it was extended one year and will end in March 2021.
The award notice – and any future RFPs – are posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website (https://fbohome.sam.gov/). Information on the proposal submission/review process can be found in Sections L (Instructions, Conditions, and Notices to Offerors) and M (Evaluation Factors For Award) of the RFP and in NIH Policy Manual Chapter 6315-1, Initiation, Review, Evaluation, and Award of Research & Development (R&D) Contracts.
To serve the research community, NIDA has tried to build farm capacity flexible enough to accommodate various levels of demand for research marijuana and marijuana products over the next five years. While demand is generally low at this time, we cannot predict future needs. As a result, the highest figure in the current contract includes the costliest possible scenario that might involve a large increase in the demand for these products. It is unlikely that there will be such a level of demand, but NIDA will be prepared if the budget can be acquired to fund them. NIDA receives its budget on an annual basis and any projections of costs beyond the current fiscal year are for planning purposes only; there is no assurance that such funds would be available. In recent contract periods, NIDA has been obligating approximately $1.5m each year.