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UM opens new center for medical cannabis research

The new center in Oxford promises scientific research, data analysis, education and training on the health effects of cannabis.

OXFORD, Miss — The University of Mississippi announced Thursday, Jan. 20, the approval of a new center for medical cannabis research. 

The National Center for Cannabis Research and Education (NCCRE) will foster and conduct scientific research, data analysis, education and training on the health effects of cannabis. NCCRE researchers and leaders will aid in policymaking and outreach as state programs emerge.

Based within the School of Pharmacy, the new center’s foundation will build on the school’s long-standing history of cannabis research.

“There is no doubt that cannabis can provide treatments for serious diseases, and there is a solid research foundation for further exploration” said Larry Walker, interim director of the NCCRE. “The goal of the NCCRE is that health professionals and patients have the products and information that will allow them to tap the hope for new treatments from cannabis, while understanding and minimizing harmful effects."

The center emphasizes research, advising and education in medical cannabis as well as cannabis-related drug development. Along with working toward the creation of new drugs and formulations, the NCCRE will perform data collection and analysis while engaging in training and education with medical professionals, industry and government officials.

For more than 50 years, the School of Pharmacy has provided standardized cannabis products for research through the federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse Drug Supply Program. Products available include bulk plant material, cigarettes, cannabis extracts and purified cannabinoids.

UM researchers have vast experience in cannabis research. Of the 50 new cannabinoids discovered between 2005 and 2015, 43 can be attributed to Ole Miss researchers.