A task force compiled by state officials, researchers and leading physicians which state that Oregon is required to fund an independent cannabis institute that would run research into marijuana’s medical and public health properties. Tax dollars made through recreational cannabis sales would provide private funding to underwrite the Oregon Institute for Cannabis Research.
The institute would have many scientists and staff to aid in academic research to steer through sinuous and federally regulated marijuana research. The recommendation came from a report submitted on Monday to the Legislature by the task force. It calls for Oregon to reach new heights by funding them with state money to conduct cannabis research. One of the proposals was for the center to cultivate and handle cannabis to conduct the research.
“This institute will position Oregon as a leader in cannabis research and serve as an international hub for what will soon be a rapidly accelerating scientific field,” the report, prepared by the Oregon Health Authority, says. “No other single initiative could do as much to strengthen the Oregon cannabis industry and to support the needs of Oregon medical marijuana patients.”
The proposal is a result of the most recent effort by states to answer questions in cannabis research that are created by the federal prohibition of marijuana. The government allows for marijuana to be researched, but the approval process is extremely strenuous and involves cannabis grown at a government-run facility based at the University of Mississippi.
The recommendation came through a law passed in 2015 by the Legislature that pleaded for the creation of a task force to study ways that they could make sure that the medical cannabis industry is set up to help patients. The report does not include projections for what it would cost to fund the center. However, it does explicitly state that financial support for the center would be vital. Other states have put money on the side for research, but not consistently.
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