Could Massachusetts become a cannabis research hub?

With world-class medical facilities and universities, and a highly educated workforce, Massachusetts is a national leader in medicine, life sciences, and biotech. Could the state leverage those assets to also become a leading light of cannabis research? 

As President Biden pledges to explore changing federal restrictions on cannabis, some researchers and policymakers hope to position Massachusetts at the forefront of the nascent field of cannabis research. “We have embraced research forever. It makes sense we’d be a cannabis research hub,” said Dr. Staci Gruber, director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) program at Harvard’s McLean Hospital. “We have all the requisite pieces — biotech, academia.” 

While researchers say the potential is there, there are still many barriers to conducting cannabis research, both on a federal and state level.  

Today, cannabis research is heavily regulated, and there is a lack of available funding. Even if the federal barriers are removed, those involved in the industry said the state would need to do more to encourage research by providing money and changing regulations. 

To read the complete article, go to www.commonwealthmagazine.org


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