Bob Broderick, a Manhattan, NY-based cannabis industry investor, has donated $9 million to MIT and Harvard for research on cannabis and its effects on the brain, according to an NPR-affiliate WBUR report. Broderick said the funds could help break the taboo against researching the plant and get “two great cultural institutions involved in the discussion of cannabis in the country.”
“People take risks when they say, ‘I’m going to start doing cannabis work.’ For a young researcher at MIT or Harvard to say, ‘I’m going to pivot my career and study the effects of cannabis,’ I don’t think that’s something that would have happened five years ago.” – Broderick to WBUR
Broderick suggests his is the largest-ever private gift for cannabis research – which is out-of-reach for many researchers who are unable to get funding to study cannabis due to its federal Schedule I status; however, he doesn’t think it will be the largest gift for very long.
Last year, the National Institutes of Health announced support for more than 330 cannabinoid-related projects totaling $140 million.
Harvard Medical School professor of neurobiology Bruce Bean told WBUR that, save for THC and CBD, the scientific community “really know nothing” on many of the hundred other cannabinoids they know about.