Colorado Board of Health Approves Medical Marijuana Research Grants

Colorado’s Board of Health on Wednesday approved up to $8 million in grants to pay for eight studies on medical marijuana, the largest-ever state-funded effort to study the medical efficacy of cannabis.

The studies will look at whether marijuana can be used to treat childhood epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, pediatric brain tumors and spine pain. The results of the studies will provide some of the best — and most respected — evidence to date on whether marijuana is a useful medicine.

“This is new and uncharted territory,” Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director of the Colorado health department, said prior to the board’s unanimous vote to approve the funding.

Last year, the state legislature authorized the Colorado health department to spend $9 million on medical marijuana research, meaning there remains about $1 million that could be used to expand the already approved studies or fund additional research.

The money comes from the registration fee that patients pay to be on the state’s medical marijuana registry. That funding mechanism has prompted a lawsuit from a group of medical marijuana advocates, who argue that research is an unconstitutional use of registration fees.

– Read the entire article at The Denver Post.