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University of Kentucky Plans to Open Cannabis Research Center

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A new bill in Kentucky would establish the Kentucky Center for Cannabis Research at the University of Kentucky to further cannabis studies. The bill received tentative approval by a legislative committee on March 3.

According to Kentucky.com the center would perform several different kinds of research, including clinical studies and trials, pharmaceutical development, analysis of potential risks or side effects, and reviews of other research and studies surrounding cannabis.

The bill, also known as House Bill 463, was sponsored by State Rep. Kim Moser and approved by the House Education Committee in the General Assembly in Kentucky. Next, it will be placed in front of the full House of Representatives.

Moser hopes that his fellow politicians will also support the bill. “It’s important that cannabis be researched for its effectiveness as a medication and that physicians understand how to dose and prescribe it,” Moser regarding why he stands behind the bill. “It’s critical researchers and prescribers know what the indications are, … and most of all, that patients get what they think they are getting.”

The university has a strong relationship with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and they have already received permission to conduct cannabis research in the past. Researchers such as University of Kentucky College of Medicine and Center on Drug and Alcohol, Shanna Babalonis, said that she’s one of the only researchers in the country who is legally allowed to study cannabis and its effect on humans.

HB-463 has been recently revised and would include the university getting a grant in order to begin researching. Then, the university would seek out for additional donors between now and 2022 so that it could be self-sufficient when it comes to money and wouldn’t have to depend on donors in the future.

Despite Kentucky’s more conservative background when it comes to issues like cannabis, studies show the state even mostly favors recreational legalization, and the legislature supports legal cannabis as well.