CSU-Pueblo’s Cannabis Research Institute Jumps Through Plenty of Hoops to Study a Schedule I DrugPosted by On


Despite medical marijuana being legal in 36 states, researching the plant’s clinical effects and potential benefits can be difficult because of federal prohibition, but that’s exactly what the Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research is trying to do.

Cannabis is a Schedule I drug under federal law, so researchers who want to handle plant material face additional hurdles to getting research approved. As a result, research studying direct marijuana use is sparse, explains Institute of Cannabis Research director Chad Kinney.

“If somebody wants to work with high-THC materials, they currently have to get a Schedule I license just to handle that material — [and] that doesn’t mean they can do everything and anything they want, research-wise,” Kinney explains.

Studies that include potential therapeutic applications on humans require approval from the Food and Drug Administration and an institutional review board, says Kinney, while the Schedule I designation “separates marijuana from other therapeutics that are considered.”

On top of FDA and IRB approval, researchers handling marijuana must also receive a Schedule I license issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration. After making it through that obstacle, researchers must then get their plant material through the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Drug Supply Program, which sources its marijuana…

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Despite medical marijuana being legal in 36 states, researching the plant’s clinical effects and potential benefits can be difficult because of federal prohibition, but that’s exactly what the Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research is trying to do.

Cannabis is a Schedule I drug under federal law, so researchers who want to handle plant material face additional hurdles to getting research approved. As a result, research studying direct marijuana use is sparse, explains Institute of Cannabis Research director Chad Kinney.

“If somebody wants to work with high-THC materials, they currently have to get a Schedule I license just to handle that material — [and] that doesn’t mean they can do everything and anything they want, research-wise,” Kinney explains.

Studies that include potential therapeutic applications on humans require approval from the Food and Drug Administration and an institutional review board, says Kinney, while the Schedule I designation “separates marijuana from other therapeutics that are considered.”

On top of FDA and IRB approval, researchers handling marijuana must also receive a Schedule I license issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration. After making it through that obstacle, researchers must then get their plant material through the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Drug Supply Program, which sources its marijuana…



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