Michigan's Cannabis Regulatory Agency has recommended giving $20 million in grants to two universities — Wayne State University and the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor — under the Veteran Marijuana Research (VMR) Grant Program.
Wayne State will be granted the full requested amount for both of its proposals, around $9 million and $3.5 million, while the University of Michigan was awarded almost $7.5 million of the $12 million it requested.
Wayne State University will conduct the “first randomized controlled, large-scale clinical trial” to research how THC or CBD could help veterans with PTSD who are also under exposure therapy. Another study is an ongoing clinical trial into the effects of cannabinoids on “neuroinflammation and neurobiological underpinnings of suicide ideation in veterans with PTSD.”
The University of Michigan applied for grants to study the “effectiveness of cannabis-based therapies to treat veterans with chronic pain, towards the goal of reducing veteran suicide risk." More precisely, the research is focusing on the efficacy of non-intoxicating CBD in treating pain.
The funds come from tax money collected from recreational cannabis sales in the state. To determine the amount of money that each organization should be granted, a committee considered the following factors: experience and financial stability of the organization; the applicant’s work plan; applicant’s management summary; and applicant’s budget and budget narrative.
The annual funding for the clinical trials was determined under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, which legalized adult-use marijuana in November 2018 and established a Marijuana Regulation fund in the state treasury that Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) officials must use to award the grants. Under the law, CRA would grant $20 million annually to one or more clinical trials that are authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The trials would also be sponsored by a non-profit organization or researcher within an academic institution studying the efficacy of cannabis in treating the medical conditions U.S. army veterans and preventing veteran suicide.
Veterans And Marijuana Recent Updates
The news comes on the heels of a package of bills approved by the House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, among which is Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Brian Mast’s amendment that codifies the ability of VA doctors to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to veterans.
“VA physicians should not be denied the ability to offer a recommendation that they think may meet the needs of their patients,” they wrote. “Veterans should not be forced outside the VA system to seek treatment that is legal in their state.”
Last week, The House Rules Committee rejected bipartisan spending bill amendments aimed at advancing veterans’ access to medical cannabis on procedural grounds.
Photo: Benzinga Edit; Source: Shutterstock
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