The U.S. has been a hotbed for research on the cannabis plant and its future of medical use, but federal legislation has made it quite difficult to do so within the U.S. borders. Although the U.S. has access to some of the most advanced research technology in the world, scientists are often unable to research the cannabis plant due to older laws regarding the substance.
For those who don’t know, cannabis is currently labeled as a Schedule I narcotic within the U.S. This means that from a federal standpoint, cannabis has no research potential as well as a high rate of addiction. Both of these statements have been proven wrong by research paper after research paper, yet due to the bureaucratic nature of our government, nothing has fully changed. Although this harsh legislation is still in place, one state has been working to begin leading the fight on marijuana research in the U.S.
Pennsylvania has been working to build a program that would allow medical schools throughout the state to get involved in research projects focused on the world of cannabis. The state awarded eight different applicants, some of which include top research universities, the power to research cannabis as a treatment for a wide variety of ailments. No other state has put in legislation for this to occur, so Pennsylvania could become a groundbreaking space in the world of cannabis for the future.
Officials at the University of Pittsburgh stated that “It is important to note that Pennsylvania is the first and only state in the country to institute such a program, and we believe that the research that will be conducted by the School of Medicine in collaboration with UPMC will be of great importance in determining the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of medical cannabis products in treating specific diseases.” The research needed has been on the table for a long time as testimonies have shown the power cannabis has to treat or even cure various ailments.
Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, who was one of the pioneers for medical marijuana law in Pennsylvania several years ago, has stated his support for the needed research within his state. He stated that “Today, medical research is so limited by the federal government that only a few doctors can even have access to medical marijuana. Pennsylvania’s premier medical schools will be able to help shape the future of treatment for patients who are in desperate need not just here, but across the country.” The research that will hopefully be done is something that has the power to benefit the entirety of the world given how popular cannabis is. If universities throughout the state are able to find new ways to utilize the cannabis plant, it will mean groundbreaking news for the industry on cannabis.
One of the best parts of this new legislation and one of the reasons that it will work is the fact that universities will not be relying on funding from the federal government, thus bypassing all legal statutes put in place. Instead, the schools will work within the state vertically to be able to have access to cannabis for research purposes.
With cannabis being a very new industry in the U.S. and the world, it seems like these types of programs will need some time before they are producing any viable research. The future for cannabis however, does look to be quite bright as more and more states are working to allow it within their borders. The hopes are high that the next coming years will continue to be exciting for the market on cannabis.