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What’s going on with NIH’s Resource Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research?
Cannabis Wire reached out to Patrick Still, who has spearheaded the effort, to learn more about the Center, on which we first reported in October.
So far, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and other partner National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes “intend to commit an estimated total” of $1.4 million to fund one award for each of five years starting in January 2025, Still told Cannabis Wire. “Future years of funding are dependent on satisfactory progress” of the Center in meeting the objectives and also funding availability.
“The idea for the Center was formulated through a course of discussions over the past couple of years with representatives from several NIH institutes, centers, and offices,” Still told Cannabis Wire by email. “These discussions included how to facilitate and support cannabis research, and how to help address the challenges investigators face in entering this field of research.”
From there, after workshops and seminars at scientific meetings, and through a couple rounds of Requests for Information, the NCCIH (and NIH, too), identified a “number of challenges and gaps facing the research and clinical care communities,” Still said, highlighting the following areas:
• The Schedule 1 designation for cannabis on the Controlled Substances Act
• “Obtaining and maintaining” Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registrations
• “Issues” related to Investigational New Drug (IND) applications
• “Limited and inconsistently documented studies, lack of validated and standardized measures”
• Broadly, the “diversity” of cannabis products
• And the “lack” of medical education focused on cannabis for doctors and health care providers
Still said that the Center will also “facilitate” efforts to reduce barriers to cannabis research, and that the Center will serve as a “focal point” for researchers joining the field.
“The Center will help facilitate needed research to address many of the questions arising from widespread availability of cannabis,” Still told Cannabis Wire. “The lack of high-quality studies has resulted in insufficient data on the basic mechanisms, safety, and efficacy for many of the cannabinoids and other constituents of cannabis. We envision the center will help close this gap.”
Still continued, “For example, most research to date on cannabinoids has focused on the potential harms of THC. As a result, little is understood about the other 110 cannabinoids and 120 terpenes contained within the plant and how they interact with multiple body systems. Gaining new insights on these properties and their potential therapeutic uses will open up new directions in whole person health research.”
So, where do things stand, at the end of 2023? Applications for the Resource Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research are due in April and scheduled to be reviewed in July 2024. The earliest start date is expected to be sometime in January 2025.
In Alabama, Trulieve gets an “integrated” license.
Yesterday, Alabama cannabis regulators met to award “integrated” licenses, one week after awarding licenses across the medical cannabis supply chain, as Cannabis Wire reported in this newsletter. These “integrated” licensees will be able to control their own supply from seed to sale.
Among the five winners? Trulieve. On the other hand, Verano, which got a license in the first round but not in the second, did not get a license in this third round.
You can see the full list of awardees here.
New York regulators issue their first recall.
The Office of Cannabis Management announced the state’s first adult use cannabis recall. They describe it as “a precautionary measure because this lot was not properly tested,” however, no adverse events have been reported. Here is the product info:
“Product Name: Jenny’s Zee Zee gummies 2:1 THC/CBN
Batch/Lot Number: ZZ-23–07-13-0001
Expire/Use by Date: All dates affected
Distribution Dates: 09/04/2023-11/01/2023”
Michigan OSHA launches cannabis program.
Michigan’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a program focused on cannabis cultivation, and the harvesting and processing of the plant.
“To help protect the health and safety of those working in the cannabis industry, MIOSHA has initiated a State Emphasis Program that covers the growing, harvesting, and processing of cannabis – all of which have the highest occurrence of occupational safety and health hazards,” the Administration noted on the MIOSHA cannabis safety webpage.
Michigan currently has roughly 1,000 licensed growers, 228 processors, and 1,040 dispensaries, according to MIOSHA.
+ More: The federal National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has been increasingly working on cannabis.
Most recently, as Cannabis Wire reported, NIOSH, the CDC, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health published reports and bulletins that sought to answer questions related to the 2022 death of a 27-year-old woman who worked at a cannabis facility in Massachusetts.