Washington State University (WSU) has established a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to cannabis studies. The institution has already employed around 100 scientists to oversee its various pre-existing cannabis-related projects to be united under the center.
The Board of Regents, along with the Faculty Senate, formally approved the new WSU Center for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach (CCPRO) in May.
Building the center shows the school’s commitment to study and deliver much-needed scientific understanding about the steadily growing cannabis industry, according to the news release.
“The center status recognizes our researchers’ outstanding, multi-disciplinary scholarship on cannabis. It also brings together under one center work on everything from research focused on the impact of cannabis on development to scholarship on cannabis and public safety, as well as our growing hemp research,” said WSU CCPRO Director Michael McDonell.
For over six years, university researchers have worked on 50 projects including an exploration of behavioral and biological predictors of cannabis abuse using a novel animal model of cannabis vapor administration that was recently given a $400,000 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Some continue to analyze the impact of the state’s cannabis legalization law on law enforcement. WSU Professor Nick Lovrich will be taking their findings to a national law enforcement conference attended by Washington police officers.
CCPRO has also collaborated with Oregon State University and University of California Davis to improve hemp germplasm so better hemp crops—the source of cannabidiol (CBD)—can grow for industrial purposes.
Other institutions have also taken an interest in studying the drug. Lake Superior State University in Michigan began offering a cannabis chemistry scholarship last April, believing that education is “the key to raising the level of safety and integrity in the [cannabis] industry.”
Northern New Mexico College also launched an online program earlier this year dedicated to helping students gain fundamental knowledge needed to tap and boost the budding cannabis economy.