California funds nearly $20 million in cannabis research grants

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California regulators have awarded nearly $20 million to 16 state universities to conduct scientific research on a host of cannabis-related issues and compounds, including mental health, delta-8 and delta-10 and what’s billed as the first study on marijuana legacy genetics.

The recipients were chosen from among 98 proposals based on their strong methodology, potential policy influence, advancing public knowledge and ability to develop foundational research, according to a news release.

Several schools received multiple awards. Recipients included:

  • UCLA, $9.5 million to study intoxication levels of synthetic and semi-synthetic cannabinoids, the effects of smoking concentrates and flower, interactions between cannabis and CBD as well as medical marijuana use.
  • University of California San Diego, $917,000 to conduct a four-year project examining cannabinoid effects on cognitive, psychiatric and neural outcomes in young adults as well as a separate study on cannabis use and mental health among adolescents.
  • Cal Poly Humboldt, $2.7 million to identify, document and preserve the history, value and diversity of California’s rural legacy cannabis genetics and their communities.
  • UC Irvine, $2 million to study the acute effects of high THC levels on mood, cognition and abuse potential.

“It is the department’s aspiration that these studies will advance the body of scientific research, further our understanding of cannabis, and aid to the continued development and refinement of the legal framework,” Rasha Salama, chief deputy director at the state’s Department of Cannabis Control, said in a statement.

“These studies will provide valuable insights on topics of interest to California’s consumers, businesses, and policy makers.”