Colorado awards $2.7 million in medical marijuana research grants |

Colorado awards $2.7 million in medical marijuana research grants

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced last week that it has awarded $2.7 million in grants to help fund two new research studies into the potential therapeautic uses of marijuana.

The first study seeks to research marijuana’s use as a treatment for chronic spine pain, and will evaluate it’s use as a therapy to reduce prescription opioid use. The project is being researched by Dr. Emily Lindley and Dr. Rachael Rzasa Lynn of the University of Colorado Anschutz, and is expected to take about three years.

The second project will include a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy and safety study of marijuana as a treatment of irritability in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Nicole Tartaglia of CU Anschutz will head the study, which is also expected to take three years.

The grants were awarded following a scientific review and scoring of 13 preliminary applications. Each study will receive $1.35 million in funding.

Since 2015, Colorado has funded more that $9 million in medical marijuana research grants, in addition to another $2.35 million in grants for marijuana public health research studies. Earlier this year, the Colorado General Assembly authorized the department’s Medical Marijuana Research Grant Program to fund and oversee new rounds of medical marijuana research grants through 2023. Governor John Hickenlooper directed the department to prioritize fiscal resources to research the use of marijuana by patients experiencing autism spectrum disorder, and to continue prioritizing the reduction of long-term opioid use for chronic pain.

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