The University of Minnesota School of Public Health on Thursday announced the launch of the Cannabis Research Center (CRC) which will assess the impact of adult-use cannabis legalization and help inform future cannabis policies and practices in the state.
The state’s adult-use legalization law includes a $2.5M annual appropriation from the cannabis sales tax to establish CRC.
In a statement, School of Public Health Professor Traci Toomey, who will serve as the CRC’s first director, said the center will “conduct innovative research on the health effects of adult-use cannabis legalization on people and communities across the state, including prevention and treatment of substance use disorders, equity issues, education and decriminalization.”
School of Public Health Interim Dean Timothy Beebe said the first priorities for the CRC include identifying key staff and faculty members with related expertise, establishing an executive committee to help guide center strategy, and identifying partners across the state to help advance the center’s work.
The CRC has already established several core principles that will guide its work, including:
- Leading the scientific community in cannabis research.
- Upholding antiracist principles by prioritizing questions related to equity and incorporating antiracist practices into collaborations, research questions and methods, interpretations and communications.
- Maximizing health benefits and minimizing health problems related to cannabis by addressing timely questions now and into the future.
- Being a trusted source of information about cannabis research for individuals, communities and organizations.
“We will work collaboratively with state and local agencies and community-based organizations to explore and identify the initial research priorities related to cannabis use in Minnesota,” Beebe said in a statement. “I am confident that, under Dr. Toomey’s leadership, the CRC will provide the data and evidence our policymakers need to make informed decisions about cannabis to prevent inequity and adverse health impacts throughout Minnesota.”
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