The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) this week awarded the University of Mississippi $68.8 million to grow and analyze marijuana, Time reports. The university’s marijuana research lab has been the sole producer of federally legal marijuana since 1968.
The lab is planning to grow 30,000 plants, according to the magazine. NIDA requires a “secure and video monitored outdoor facility of approximately 12 acres” that could handle the “cultivation, growing, harvesting, analyzing, and storing of research grade cannabis,” according to a listing posted on a federal government website.
NIDA said it is interested in developing new methods for growing marijuana with a variety of levels of THC, the substance that creates a “high” effect. It also will grow marijuana with different levels of cannabidiol, which is being studied as a treatment for various medical disorders including epilepsy.