One of the great things about the law Michigan voters passed to legalize cannabis is the stipulation that it fund medical research on cannabis. Steve Neavling of the Detroit Metro Times reports that the the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency has awarded $20 million in grants for two research projects that will study the effects of medical marijuana on military veterans with mental health disorders:
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) received nearly $13 million to examine “the efficacy of marijuana in treating the medical conditions of U.S. armed services veterans and preventing suicide.” The study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers said it’s the first clinical trial to examine the inhalation of high-THC botanical cannabis. (Editor’s note: read the protocol for the study from MAPS)
The aim of the study is to support the development of cannabis medication that is eligible for insurance coverage, researchers said.
“Suicide among Veterans is an urgent public health crisis, but it’s solvable if we invest in researching new treatments for pain, depression, and PTSD,” Sue Sisley, president of Scottsdale Research Institute and renowned cannabis specialist, said in a statement. “This grant enables more rigorous study, overseen by the FDA, which may lead to cannabis flower becoming prescribable medicine someday. Veterans are demanding objective cannabis drug development research, and the state of Michigan is fulfilling our collective obligation to our beloved Veteran community.”
Wayne State University received a $7 million grant to expand its research into potential therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids to reduce symptoms of PTSD and depression, noting that more than 6,400 veterans committed suicide in 2018.