Increase legalization of recreational marijuana is helping the research industry
As Dr. Mark Ware puts it, “There were times when I was told you couldn’t even use ‘cannabis’ and ‘research’ in the same sentence.” This was the atmosphere surrounding marijuana research even as recently as ten years ago, but, thanks to increased acceptance of recreational marijuana use in the U.S., Canada and abroad the stigmas formerly associated with the plant are disappearing. Along with the disappearance comes a hefty amount of support for research, which is seeing a growth explosion.
Ware has been a cannabis enthusiast for at least the past two decades, always wanting to explore the advantages – and possible disadvantages – of its use. He is now the chief medical officer for Canopy Growth, one of the largest marijuana companies in Canada, and is overseeing an investment of millions of dollars into research.
The ability to invest so heavily into marijuana research is made possible by the continued acceptance of cannabis around the globe. Legalization has led to more research, more funding, more jobs and more interest. Ware adds, “What, I think, really is changing is the number of people who are now ready to apply for those funds and are interested in doing this research. That’s not so much a factor of regulation or funding. It’s actually, I think, the stigma around cannabis has changed, and people are beginning to see that there is a credible reason for looking at medical cannabis seriously.”
In the past, many studies were forced to focus on the negatives, and not the positives, of cannabis. Fortunately, this is changing as the stigmas are erased, ushering in a whole new era of research. Imagine where we would be today if Epidiolex, the CBD-based epilepsy drug, had been allowed to be introduced, through proper research, 20 or 30 years ago.