University of Kentucky Opens New Cannabis Research Center

Bluegrass State University’s flagship university is going green. Wednesday’s announcementthe University of Kentucky announced the opening of a “new center to advance research into the medical use of cannabis.”

As it is known as the ‘UK Cannabis Center’, it ‘conducts research into the health effects of cannabis, including its risks and benefits when used to treat certain medical conditions’.

The center is the result of a bill passed by Kentucky legislators and signed by Gov. Andy Beshear earlier this year.

“Congress has an interest in investigating the conditions in which medical cannabis may be useful, and the most effective dosages and routes of administration for each condition.” Said Dr Shana Bavalonis, Director of the UK Cannabis Centre.

Bavalonis is “an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and a CDAR cannabis researcher who is increasingly recognized as a leader in the cannabis field and an expert on the topic of medical cannabinoids,” according to Wednesday’s announcement by the National Institutes of Health. The grants, aimed at examining cannabis-opioid interactions, the effects of cannabis in people with opioid use disorders, and the effects of cannabis on simulated driving performance, totaled approximately $3.5 million. increase. ”

“The new center will allow us to expand our clinical research, specifically focusing on medical conditions where medical cannabis may help,” Bavalonis said in a statement.

A bill to create a UK cannabis center was passed on the closing day of the Kentucky legislature in April. Beshear, a Democrat, vetoed the bill into signature, removing certain parts of the bill to “limit the purpose of the Center and determine who the President of the University of Kentucky should consider appointing.” Stated. Advisory Committee after giving sole appointment powers to the President of the University.

Beshear said earlier this year that he enjoyed the idea of ​​using an executive order to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

“We’re going to explore that,” Beshear said in April. “That’s something we’ll see. The time has certainly come.”

This disagreed with members of Congress, including Kentucky Senate Speaker Robert Stivers.

“The public should be concerned about governors who believe they can change statutes with an executive order,” Mr. Stivers said in an April statement. “Medical marijuana cannot be legalized by executive order. It cannot supersede statutes by executive order because this violates the constitutional separation of powers.”

The bill that established the UK Cannabis Center was seen as a compromise by Republicans in the State Senate who weren’t ready to fully legalize medical cannabis treatment. A bill to legalize medical marijuana passed the Kentucky House of Representatives in March, but the bill was never voted on by the state Senate.

In a statement Wednesday, the University of Kentucky said the bill “also requires the UK to apply to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for a license to grow and cultivate cannabis,” and if approved, “the center will be able to grow agriculture.” We will be able to implement it,” he said. Research on Optimal Growing Conditions”.

“British President Eli Kapilout recently appointed a multidisciplinary team of British faculty and staff to oversee the operations and finances of the research centre,” the statement said. It includes an Executive Committee or Steering Committee, which is established as part of the Center’s research objectives and agenda, makes major financial decisions, and has an Advisory Board that guides the Center’s progress and overall direction. , to help provide feedback. ”

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