With President Joe Biden officially signing the first piece of standalone federal cannabis reform legislation in U.S. history earlier this month, marijuana research centers are poised to make their debuts nationwide.
What Happened: One of the newly approved facilities is based in Chicago. It will work on crop production, studying the health benefits and risks of marijuana, as well as training workers and advocating on a myriad of policy issues.
The Cannabis Research Institute will be operated by the Discovery Partners Institute, which is part of the University of Illinois.
Discovery Partners executive director Bill Jackson said that the Illinois institute would be backed by funds coming from federal, state and local grants. Conversely, cannabis investors partially fun similar projects at UCLA, Harvard and MIT, according to Chicago Tribune.
However, in order to operate, the institute needs to collaborate with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, considering that cannabis is still considered illegal on the federal level.
Why It Matters: In 2022, recreational marijuana sales in Illinois crossed the $1 billion mark. In fact, since cannabis was legalized in 2020, retail shops have sold more than $3 billion in cannabis.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the Prairie State is one of the most prominent cannabis markets in the U.S. and a logical choice when it comes to marijuana research efforts.
“Being able to do research, which the (National Institutes of Health) hasn’t done much of, as you know, being able to foster new innovations for the industry, all of that should happen in the city of Chicago and in the state of Illinois,” the governor said. “And so having a research institute just makes all the sense in the world, and the industry itself believes that.”
Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.