Michigan’s marijuana tax revenue funds $20M studies on medical cannabis for veterans with PTSD

click to enlarge Michigan researchers receive grants to study the effects of marijuana on veterans. - Shutterstock
Michigan researchers receive grants to study the effects of marijuana on veterans.

The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency 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.

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.

“This project will provide the unique ability to administer and assess the effects of cannabinoids on Veterans’ mental health from a psychobiological perspective in an unprecedented manner,” researchers said in the grant proposal.

The grants are required as part of the ballot measure that Michigan voters approved in November 2018 to legalize recreational marijuana. The funding is financed by tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales.

The Michigan Regulatory Agency (MRA) received four applications. The others were from the University of Michigan and the Kairos Cannabis Research Foundation. The University of Michigan was ineligible because it submitted its proposal after the deadline, according to MRA documents. The Kairos proposal was unsigned and uncertified and failed to meet the mandatory minimum requirement of demonstrating a history of working with the U.S Food and Drug Administration for approval of clinical trials.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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