Scientists Provided With Moldy, Weak Cannabis For Testing

The marijuana industry has been expanding rapidly with one major roadblock standing in its way: the federal government's classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.  Scientist are provided with federally approved cannabis for testing however, these researchers have been claiming that the cannabis they're given to test is of the worst quality.

Currently, the University of Mississippi is the only federally legal cannabis farm in the country.  However, the product that comes from the 12 acre farm is described as poor quality, leading to complications on discovering the actual benefits of the plant.  A doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona conducting research on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, told PBS that the flower she received from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) was in comparison to green talcum powder.  “It didn’t resemble cannabis," Sue Sisley stated.  "It didn’t smell like cannabis. They weren’t able to produce what we were asking for.”  Lab tests resulted in the cannabis being moldy and not potent enough for research.

Sisley's colleague Rick Doblin agrees that poor quality marijuana mars clinical studies, skews results, endangers patients, and makes understanding what cannabis can really do therapeutically impossible.  He also told PBS, “NIDA is completely inadequate as a source of marijuana for drug development and research. They’re in no way capable of assuming the rights and responsibilities for handling a drug that we’re hoping to be approved by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] as prescription medicine.”

The classification of cannabis has been challenged however, the FDA rejected its reclassification stating, “a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision.”  However, scientists are not given the quality cannabis needed to prove marijuana's therapeutic ability.