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VA and Oregon university launch cannabisevidence.org.
Oregon Health & Science University has launched a website that is geared toward researchers and clinicians who want to “evaluate the latest evidence around the health effects of cannabis.”
The project, called the Systematically Testing the Evidence on Marijuana (STEM), is a collaboration between OHSU’s Center for Evidence-based Policy and the VA Portland Health Care System.
“Providers have not become familiar with the health effects of cannabis,” principle investigator Devan Kansagara said. “That’s partly because we’ve lacked the evidence we like to see when recommending treatments to patients, and partly because of a lack of familiarity with terminology and practical issues about cannabis.”
“The STEM site could help providers feel more comfortable discussing cannabis and help normalize conversations, similar to the process we have become so familiar with when talking to patients about alcohol use,” Kasagara continued.
A new national cannabis center for Ole Miss.
The University of Mississippi was, for decades, the only federally-approved place to grow cannabis for research. That has since changed (read Cannabis Wire’s coverage here). And, now, the University has announced a major new cannabis center.
The National Center for Cannabis Research and Education will “foster and conduct scientific research, data analysis, education and training on the health effects of cannabis.”
The center will be housed within the School of Pharmacy, where the new center’s “foundation will build on the school’s long-standing history of cannabis research.”
“There is no doubt that cannabis can provide treatments for serious diseases, and there is a solid research foundation for further exploration” said Larry Walker, the interim director of the NCCRE, who was also director of the National Center for Natural Products Research for 16 years.
“The potency of the plant, the sophistication of preparation and delivery, the ready availability of these products and the declining perceptions of risks mean that many seeking its health benefits could experience various adverse effects.”
NIOSH publishes notice on fleet safety and cannabis.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), within the CDC, quietly published a feature called “Marijuana and Driving: How to Keep Your Fleet’s Drivers Safe,” which offers some best practices as states continue to pass cannabis legalization for medical and adult use.
“Studies have shown that the risk of being involved in a crash increases after marijuana use. Still, marijuana’s specific contribution to crash risk is unclear because it can be detected in body fluids for days or even weeks after use,” the notice reads.
Among the best practices, the feature notes that employers should “develop a comprehensive marijuana policy that accounts for current laws in each state where your company operates.A zero-tolerance policy for marijuana may not be possible, depending on your state’s laws.” The “best” policies will ban cannabis consumption at work and also prohibit cannabis intoxication while reporting for work.
“Monitor the relevant state marijuana laws and any improved methods for determining impairment. Update your policies as needed,” the feature continued.
CFCR’s board gets a big name add.
Ted Thompson, the public policy SVP at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, has joined the board of the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation (CFCR).
“People and families living with Parkinson’s disease have the right to demand public and private support for research into every potential treatment, including medical cannabis, that could safely and effectively help manage the disabling motor and non-motor symptoms of PD,” Thompson said in the announcement. “As a member of the CFCR Board I’ll work to help create momentum on legislative and other regulatory fronts for improved access to cannabis in Parkinson’s research and care.”
Fox’s Foundation has lobbied on cannabis-related issues for years, as Cannabis Wire previously reported, though Thompson’s decision to join CFCR marks a deeper involvement.