Last week, state officials in Michigan announced that research projects financed by the state’s adult-use marijuana program will assess the effects of medical cannabis in military veterans. The projects have been allocated $20 million, with $13 million of this amount being used to investigate the effectiveness of cannabis in preventing veteran suicide and treating the medical conditions that impact armed service veterans in the United States.
This grant, which was awarded to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (“MAPS”), will also finance a phase 2 study on the effectiveness of inhaled botanical cannabis in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). The funds come from the state’s Veteran Cannabis Research Grant Program, which was established in 2018 by a legalization measure approved by voters.
For the study, researchers plan to recruit more than 300 veterans who will spend 35 or so days self-administering self-titrated inhaled doses of high-quality botanical marijuana. MAPS asserts that substance-use disorders, depression and PTSD contributed significantly to suicidality and were common disorders among veterans.
Berra Yazar-Klosinki, the chief scientific officer of the organization’s Public Benefit Corporation, stated that the grant provided the resources needed to align the body of scientific evidence with marijuana that was similar to what’s available in the state’s regulated marijuana programs.
Veterans have played a huge role in the fight against marijuana prohibition and encouraging more research on the therapeutic potential of other controlled substances, including psychedelics, to be conducted. If the study finds that smoked marijuana is effective in treating PTSD, phase 3 trials can begin, after which raw marijuana will be developed and sold as a pharmaceutical.
The remaining $7 million, which was allocated to the Bureau of Community Action and Economic Opportunity at Wayne State University, will be used to study how marijuana may be used to treat various mental health conditions, including depression, sleep disorders, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. This project will look into the biochemical mechanisms through which marijuana could be used to treat suicidality, depression, sleep disorders, anxiety and PTSD.
Meanwhile, legislators in Washington are calling for an ease in restrictions on cannabis research through the Congressional infrastructure legislation, which includes a provision that would allow researchers to study marijuana from retailers in cannabis-legal states.
Additionally, the Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved an amendment that would promote veteran access to medical cannabis, by permitting physicians at the Department of Veterans Affairs in the United States to issue marijuana regulations in legal states.
As the medical use of cannabis grows, the market for precise dose-measuring devices such as the RYAH Smart Inhaler made by RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) is growing rapidly since the device addresses a previously unmet need.
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