Regulation changes make medical marijuana studies more accessible to Canadian researchers

September 5, 2014

Canadian university researchers are increasingly turning to the medical marijuana field as regulation changes have made it easier to access funding and support. The federal government recently shifted the production of medical marijuana from Health Canada to commercial companies, which are able to fund university-level research that often struggles to gain federal research dollars. Mark Ware, Director of Clinical Research at the McGill University Health Centre’s pain clinic, pointed out that there is a lack of data around the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana, which can be explored through clinical trials. “The opportunity is tremendous right now … the possibilities have never been better,” he said. Medical marijuana studies are not limited to pain management, with researchers also looking to study the effects of marijuana in the treatments of a variety of afflictions, including osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis symptoms, nausea in cancer patients, anxiety, epileptic seizures, and eye pressure caused by glaucoma. Steven Liss, VP Research at Queen’s University, noted that research opportunities exist beyond the clinical and include biology, chemistry, engineering, bio-security, and agro-business. University Affairs