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Government researchers will have access to an increased supply of marijuana for medical research, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced.

Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will now have access to 650 kilograms of marijuana, up from 21 kilograms, The Hill reports. The marijuana is grown at facilities at the University of Mississippi.

“That’s a lot of marijuana,” DEA spokeswoman Barbara Carreno said. “One kilogram is equivalent to a brick. So 650 kilograms would look like 650 bricks and would probably fill a cargo van.”

NIDA has conducted about 30 studies on marijuana, according to the article. It also funds private research on the drug. “The additional supply to be manufactured in 2014 is designed to meet the current and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana – this projection of increased demand is due in part to the recent increased interest in the possible therapeutic uses of marijuana,” NIDA said in a statement to The Hill.

NBC News reports NIDA will increase testing on the effects of marijuana on treatment of many conditions, including cancer, inflammation, pain, seizures, psychiatric disorders and autoimmune diseases.


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