The federal agency wants to know how people are consuming cannabis and why
The increase in the use of medical cannabis in the country has led many agencies to want to intervene and have more control over its data and statistics. Such has been the recent case of the main drug agency wanting to create a national registry of medical cannabis in order to determine exactly how patients use this plant. Around $1.5 billion in funds would be allocated to support researchers in this objective.
The idea is to develop a medical marijuana registry to track everything related to the industry, from how patients obtain and consume their products to what health outcomes are generated at the end of the day. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) unveiled the application a week ago. According to the agency, its ultimate goal is to “inform research practices, policies and clinical recommendations on medical cannabis, associated conditions, and outcomes.”
The NIDA, through the announcement, made it clear that it is aware that there are a large number of states that have now legalized medical cannabis. However, it is notable to say that the conditions that qualify patients and the types of products used are different among the various jurisdictions. As a result, NIDA notes that this creates a somewhat discordant and non-standardized policy landscape, which is quite difficult to analyze.
While it is true that many of the states that have legalized this market maintain individual records with some information about their patients, those “small pockets of collected information…may not be comparable, standardized, or useful in understanding broader cannabis use-related health outcomes.” NIDA seeks to collect enough information to be able to have a much more robust record to assess the behavior of the industry as it continues to develop in the years to come.