1. There is no other nonprofit group exclusively fundraising for clinical cannabis research. The government is not providing grant money for clinical cannabis research, universities and traditional nonprofits will not accept money from cannabis companies to fund research, and disease nonprofits are not directing funds to cannabis research. Without a fund set up to support research and fellowship for student researchers, the stigma and obstacles associated with cannabis research will prevent quality researchers from choosing to work in cannabinoid medicine and life-saving treatments from being discovered.
There are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis; sadly THC and CBD are among the only ones being researched. Where would the world be if studying antibiotics was made illegal? Cannabinoids are the only class of drugs that have been discovered but not researched due to legal and financial obstacles. Let’s cut the red tape and start funding cures.
2. There are no funded cannabis research institutes in United States. The state of Colorado made headlines last year for granting $8 million in clinical cannabis research grants administered by the Colorado Department of Health. Unfortunately, with no independent institute to run these studies, there are legal issues with providing a Schedule 1 drug to research participants on university property, making quality clinical research near impossible to conduct. A second issue is that Colorado sold almost 1 billion dollars of marijuana in 2015, yet no additional funds are being earmarked for cannabis research or a cannabis institute for at least 3 years.
Other states are in a similar financial and regulatory limbo in terms of cannabis research. California made an initial investment of $8.7 million into the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) in 2000, part of the University of California San Diego. Sadly, no additional state funding was provided, limiting the number and quality of studies run there. The Oregon Public Health Division Medical Marijuana Task Force has recommended an independent cannabis research institute be funded, but the proposed bill will not be introduced until 2017, and if passed, wouldn’t likely open in Oregon until at least 2020.
3. Red tape makes it extremely difficult for real cannabis research to occur. Case in point: Sue Sisley’s PTSD in veterans and cannabis study has been taking years to launch, and she is still waiting on marijuana which much be sourced from the one government farm in Mississippi, instead of university-grown cannabis in her home state.
IMPACT Network lobbies for changes in federal and state laws to make it easier to do cannabis research, and provide protections for universities and researchers that choose to do cannabis research. We are active members of numerous international, national, and state organizations committed to cannabis research, including the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC), International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS), and the National Cannabis Industry Association.
4. Cannabis research suffers from a lack of good PR. Cannabis research is spun negatively in the news, while positive studies are not publicized at all. The media suggests marijuana cause schizophrenia, that cannabis causes brain and lung damage, and cannabis users have low IQs. All of these cannabis myths have been debunked, but the misinformation has done its damage. IMPACT Network aggregates and amplifies the results of the latest clinical cannabis research via media and educational events, giving a voice to scientists and doctors who are often restricted by university censorship.
5. Cannabis is beneficial for many conditions, but most have not been studied clinically. Most studies focus on CBD and pediatric epilepsy, as popularized by the CNN documentary WEED with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Cannabis should be validated as a treatment for all conditions, not just the ones seen on television. IMPACT Network is launching a campaign drive to fund clinical cannabis research. If there is a specific disease you’d like to earmark research funds for, send us an email at email@example.com.
6. Cannabis is too often the medicine of last resort. Cannabis is not a miracle drug. Patients often learn about cannabis or finally get their doctor to sign off on a medical marijuana recommendation when the patient is terminal and it is too late for cannabis to help.
Imagine if no one had to suffer through chemo or seizures? What if chronic conditions could be controlled with cannabis before they caused permanent damage to organs and the brain? IMPACT Network drives awareness of the benefits of medical cannabis to patients and doctors through educational events and summaries of recent research so educated decisions about treatment can be made.
Find out how you can help the nonprofit IMPACT Network as a partner, sponsor, or volunteer by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.