Cannabis Research Center launched by University of Minnesota

Following the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 throughout the state of Minnesota, the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota has launched a new Cannabis Research Center (CRC).

According to an announcement from the school, the center will, "assess the impact of adult-use cannabis legalization and help inform future cannabis policies and practices across the state of Minnesota."

Last legislative session, lawmakers passed a $2.5 million annual appropriation from the cannabis sales tax to establish the research center.

"I am excited for the opportunity to lead the Cannabis Research Center and to conduct innovative research on the health effects of adult-use cannabis legalization on people and communities across the state, including prevention and treatment of substance use disorders, equity issues, education and decriminalization," said University of Minnesota School of Public Health professor Traci Toomey in a statement.

According to an announcement, School of Public Health Interim Dean Timothy Beebe said the first priorities for the research center include identifying key staff and faculty members with related expertise, establishing an executive committee to help guide center strategy and identifying partners across the state.

Into 2024 and beyond, the state will look to create the Office of Cannabis Management to oversee the implementation of licenses for dispensaries to sell marijuana products.

"We will work collaboratively with state and local agencies and community-based organizations to explore and identify the initial research priorities related to cannabis use in Minnesota," said Beebe in a statement. "I am confident that the CRC will provide the data and evidence our policymakers need to make informed decisions about cannabis to prevent inequity and adverse health impacts throughout Minnesota."