HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Marijuana Growers Sought, Experienced Need Not Apply
Pubdate: Sat, 06 May 2000
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2000 Southam Inc.
Contact:  300 - 1450 Don Mills Road, Don Mills, Ontario M3B 3R5
Fax: (416) 442-2209
Author: Luiza Chwialkowska


Ottawa Looking For High-Grade Supply For Clinical Trials

OTTAWA - The federal government is seeking individuals or corporations
to supply Health Canada with hundreds of kilograms of high-quality
marijuana, Allan Rock, the Health Minister, announced yesterday.

The "affordable, quality, standardized marijuana products" sought by
the government must be grown in Canada and will be used in clinical
trials that will investigate potential medical benefits of the drug,
according to a Request for Proposals issued by the Department of
Public Works.

The five-year contract would pay approximately $5-million. Proposals
are due by June 6 and a contractor will be chosen this summer. Bidders
on the contract will have to obtain a special licence, pass a security
check, and cannot employ personnel with past criminal drug
convictions. Officials at Public Works would not comment on whether
proposals from existing growers could potentially lead to their arrest.

"They're not being asked to describe their marijuana-growing
operations. They are being asked to describe a proposal for setting up
marijuana-growing operations," said Fran Gerhberg, a spokeswoman for
Public Works. "If you are growing it already, you are growing it
illegally," she noted.

The supplier will be required to maintain "stringent security" at its

A legal marijuana supply is part of the marijuana research plan
announced by Mr. Rock last June.

"Establishing a Canadian source of research-grade marijuana is an
important step in putting our plan into action, and we will proceed
expeditiously," Mr. Rock said in a statement yesterday.

The government is reviewing a number of research proposals and could
begin supplying marijuana to patients in a matter of months.
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