The University of Utah Health is partnering with the state to launch the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) which aims to “advance scientific understanding of medical cannabis and help patients and providers make informed health decisions about this increasingly common medication.”
Valerie Ahanonu, B.S., senior manager of the CMCR, said in a statement that the center’s overall aim is to “look at the methodology behind how people are using cannabis, and to create a translational approach to understanding its benefits and risks.”
The goal of the CMCR is to support research about medical cannabis within the University of Utah and statewide, improve patient, provider, and pharmacist education about cannabis risks and benefits, and work to instate a Drug Enforcement Administration-approved cultivation site for research-grade medical cannabis, according to a press release.
The center will work in partnership with Utah State University which has been growing cannabis for research purposes since 2019, with the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah to create educational materials about medical cannabis, and plans to work with the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library to produce an accessible database of the most rigorous and up-to-date information in the field.
Jerry Cochran, M.S.W., Ph.D., interim director for the CMCR, describes the spectrum of research the center will support as “bench to bedside.” Starting with pilot grants to help scientists begin projects on medical cannabis, the CMCR will promote research ranging from chemical characterization of the active components of cannabis through to late-stage clinical trials.
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