Washington issues first marijuana research license

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The license was issued to Seattle-based Verda Bio

This past Monday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) issued the first license in the state for cannabis research. It was given to Verda Bio, a research firm out of Seattle, and marks the next step in what can be dubbed cannabis evolution. In order to better understand the effects marijuana has on the body and mind, a lot more research is needed, but federal laws have suppressed the desire to expand research operations.

According to Rick Garza, director of the WSLCB, “This is an important milestone for Washington’s marijuana industry. We’re hopeful that the research will assist policymakers as we grapple with this emerging industry.”

Thanks to the license, Verda Bio will be allowed to produce and store cannabis for research purposes. It will also be able to test composition levels and potencies, as well as to lead studies that are centered on the efficacy and safety of medical marijuana. Verda Bio will further be permitted to conduct agricultural and genomic research, which could help to improve overall cultivation of the plant.

In order to receive a license, an applicant must prove that it adheres to the same qualifications applied to other types of cannabis enterprises, as well as receive verification through an independent scientific review firm. That firm assesses the business’s project concept and value to determine if it has the resources necessary to fulfill its goals.

Verda Bio has said, in securing the license, that it now plans on cultivating a number of cannabis plants that can produce a variety of cannabinoids, including CBN, CBG and THCV, in large quantities in order to study the therapeutic benefits associated with the different cannabis components.