Decades of federal prohibition, intense policing and harsh sentencing made it virtually impossible for researchers to study the possible effects and risks of cannabis consumption. But over the past 20 years or so, loosening marijuana policies across the country have made it possible for scientists to finally study cannabis. Anecdotal reports coupled with initial studies have revealed that cannabis has plenty of medical potential, leading to a slew of states legalizing medical cannabis.
More than 25 years after California first legalized medical cannabis, researchers are still delving into the controversial plant. There’s still a lot that we don’t know about cannabis, including how long-term consumption can affect users; this is primarily due to restrictions placed on cannabis research by the federal government.
Most of our scientific data on cannabis comes from a handful of studies that were mostly carried out by pharmaceutical companies, universities and other entities, with a significant percentage of the funding for these studies coming from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
In recent months, however, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has expanded the number of entities that are federally allowed to research cannabis from one to six. The DEA has also issued cannabis research licenses to entities interested in delving deeper into marijuana’s properties and effects and has even awarded licenses to companies with state-level marijuana retail licenses, including MedPharma Holdings in Colorado.
The cannabis research field has also seen a slight increase in federal funding opportunities, with one Connecticut-based firm, CT Pharma, managing to snag federal approval for a partnership that would see it supply cannabis to Yale University for research purposes. The segment is also expected to see an infusion of federal funding due to a provision in last year’s $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill, which allows researchers to use cannabis from state-licensed retail businesses in their studies.
Surprisingly, plenty of federally sanctioned marijuana growers and researchers say that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been quite supportive. In a prior interview with MJBizDaily, MedPharma CEO Albert Gutierrez said that working with the DEA has been quite good, stating that while the federal agencies can be slow, they are responsive. Scottsdale Research Institute’s Dr. Sue Sisley also noted the company’s great working relationship with the DEA, saying that the agency has been a collaborative supporter in the decade and a half since it began working with the institute.
Attitudes in the scientific, medical and pharmaceutical industries are shifting in favor of cannabis research, with millions of dollars being invested in medical marijuana research. There are an increasing number of studies looking into cannabis’ impact on ailments such as sleep problems, brain inflammation, opiate replacement and pain management. We can expect to see even more cannabis research in the coming years if lawmakers pass federal cannabis legislation and remove the existing restrictions on research.
As those restrictions are eased, it could get a little easier for sector players such as American Cannabis Partners to conduct the requisite research in the course of coming up with innovative products to suit the changing dynamics of the marijuana market.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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