Florida Company Seeks Federal Permit to Grow Research Cannabis in Maine

Florida Company Seeks Federal Permit to Grow Research Cannabis in Maine

An investor with ties to the state has applied to build a facility and supply marijuana to a DEA program that's expanding cultivation sites.

June 8, 2018

A Florida company has applied for a federal permit to build a facility in Maine to grow cannabis used in government-sanctioned research.

Maridose LLC is one of 27 companies with an application pending before the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to grow cannabis for use by the 350 scientists across the country, including two in Maine, who have federal approval to study marijuana. For the past half-century, only the University of Mississippi could legally grow the marijuana used in federally sanctioned research.

But in 2016, the DEA announced it would be opening up its marijuana cultivation contract to other growers in order to increase both the volume and the variety of research cannabis, which had been strictly limited because marijuana is illegal under federal law. Scientists have long complained about the difficulty of conducting clinically valid research with such a restricted supply of the drug.

Richard Shain, a retired Proctor & Gamble executive in Florida, wants to be one of those growers, and he wants to do it in Maine.

After reading the DEA’s announcement, Shain, a product development specialist, teamed up with Tikun Olam, Israel’s largest legal grower and supplier of medical marijuana, to launch Maridose. Under that corporate name, Shain has applied to become a federal supplier of research-grade cannabis grown in a 3-million-square-foot facility on 95 acres in Naples.

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