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NIH: What do cannabis researchers want?
Yesterday, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hosted a webinar about its forthcoming Resource Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
Much of the webinar was technical, with researchers asking nitty gritty questions about Center, but it also provided an under-the-hood look at how NIH is thinking about cannabis research.
“The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support the development and maintenance of a resource to address challenges and barriers to conducting research on cannabis and its constituents, to enable researchers to successfully generate more rigorous scientific evidence across a variety of research domains, in both basic and clinical research,” said Patrick Still, who is leading the effort.
(Read Cannabis Wire’s Q&A with Still.)
“Significant changes have taken place in the policy landscape surrounding cannabis legalization, production and use,” Still said. “Despite these landscape changes, evidence regarding the short and long-term health effects of cannabis remain elusive. And research conclusions to policymakers, health care providers, state health officials, and other stakeholders could be better conveyed.”
David Shurtleff, deputy director of NCCIH, reiterated that the Center will foster more and better research, which will better inform healthcare providers — and the public —about cannabis’ potential therapeutic benefits and potential risks.
“I think we all know where we are with the cannabis use landscape, you know, the trends of cannabis products to treat medical conditions. As we all know, it’s climbed without really sufficient knowledge regarding the risks and benefits,” Shurtleff said. “Certainly, we all agree that more research is needed to help the public, health care providers make more informed decisions about medical use of cannabis. And certainly this resource center is a step in the right direction.”
Additionally, NCCIH published an RFI in August 2022 on interests related to cannabis research, and barriers to studying its health effects.
As you can see below, researchers want more funding opportunities and more research-grade cannabis product.
Clinical trial will explore cannabis for veterans who want to “manage mental health symptoms.”
Wayne State University researchers are conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial called Wayne State Warriors Marijuana Clinical Research Program: Cannabinoid Adjunct to Prolonged Exposure & Recovery.
Researchers are aiming to recruit 350 veterans with PTSD who “report minimal current cannabis use but are interested in or considering therapeutic cannabis to manage mental health symptoms” from anxiety and depression to suicidal ideation.
“The information gained from this study could lead to the development of new treatments for persons who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and maintain better mental health,” according to the trial notice.
Participants would commit to 21 visits that include surveys and physical and behavioral tests as well as scans. The study is expected to be completed in September 2027.
Yet another lawsuit in New York.
How many lawsuits will New York’s cannabis regulators get hit with in 2024? Well, it’s January, and they are already juggling two (after having settled a couple of others last year): one that rolled in in December, as Cannabis Wire reported, and one that came in this week.
This latest suit is from Valencia AG, LLC, an adult use applicant that feels disadvantaged “as a white man,” according to the complaint.
It’s worth noting that each of the lawsuits challenging the licensing process in New York have in some way gone after regulators’ approach to equity, albeit in different ways. One suit argued against any head start because, they said, the adult use law required all licenses to be awarded at the same time. The December suit argues against the geographic requirements to qualify as an equity applicant (the applicant’s arrest happened in another state).
However, this latest suit echoes the same arguments made in the Supreme Court ruling last year against affirmative action: Valencia AG argues that the prioritization of “women-owned” and “minority-owned” businesses “violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.”