On Nov. 13, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control awarded researchers at UC Berkeley’s Cannabis Research Center $4.6 million in grants, which will support research in areas including the environmental impacts of cannabis.
California Proposition 64, which legalized recreational cannabis use, set aside money for cannabis research at California public universities, according to Van Butsic, co-director of the Cannabis Research Center. UC Berkeley research teams received eight of the 34 grants awarded across the state.
“Generally, we know far less about cannabis than other agricultural crops, due to a history of prohibition,” Butsic said in an email. “Research is needed to assure that cannabis is a sustainable crop for both humans and nature.”
According to campus graduate student Phoebe Parker-Shames, cannabis research requires an interdisciplinary approach. She added that cannabis research brings together people whose areas of expertise span a variety of different fields in order to evaluate a system with strong connections to communities, the environment and policy.
Parker-Shames said she and campus professor of wildlife ecology and conservation Justin Brashares received $480,000 in grants to study the environmental impacts of noise and light disturbance from cannabis farms on wildlife.
“Our research is helpful to guide regulations on light or sound or even…