In August 2021, the MRA announced the recipients of the 2021 Veteran Marijuana Research (VMR) Grant Program. Wayne State University in Detroit has been awarded a $7 million grant from the State of Michigan to research the efficacy of marijuana in treating medical conditions of armed services veterans and preventing veteran suicide. Specifically, the University’s Proposal notes “cannabis research will be emphasized and we will explore the biochemical mechanisms through which it could be employed to treat PTSD, anxiety, sleep disorders, depression, and suicidality.”
This is a huge step for veterans suffering from war-related medical and mental conditions as marijuana use can help to improve overall quality of life, reduce PTSD, aid physical ailments, and reduce depressive symptoms. A study conducted by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University released on June 21, 2021, analyses the high suicide rates among U.S. service members and veterans of the post- 9/11 wars. Among other findings, the study concludes that there were 89,100 confirmed veteran suicides between the years 2005-2018. This number comes from reported V.A. records, so the actual number of suicides is likely higher than the 89,100 confirmed.
In addition to the $7,020,950.00 grant awarded to Wayne State University, the State also awarded $17,583,994.00 to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). According to its Proposal, funds from this grant will allow the 501(c)3 non-profit to “work as a clinical trial sponsor with the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain approval for the prescription use of botanical cannabis in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”
The 2018 Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) created the Marihuana Regulation Fund which requires the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) to provide $20 million annually “to one or more clinical trials that are approved by the United States food and drug administration and sponsored by a non-profit organization or researcher within an academic institution researching the efficacy of marijuana in treating the medical conditions of United States armed services veterans and preventing veteran suicide.”
Michigan has undoubtedly made significant progress in promoting marijuana research and the state it is at the forefront of all areas relating to the cannabis industry. Remarkably, the federal government has also recently made positive steps forward. In August 2021, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment that will allow doctors within the V.A. to recommend marijuana treatments for veterans in those 36 states with legal medical marijuana programs.
WHEN YOU NEED HELP WITH CANNABIS LAW, CONTACT GREWAL LAW PLLC
Cannabis law is complex, which is why having the legal representation of a seasoned professional is critical. At Grewal Law PLLC, we have a dedicated team of lawyers to help you with all of your legal cannabis needs. If you are looking to establish your own “cannabusiness” or are having legal challenges with your existing business, we are here to guide you through any legal issues and challenges surrounding cannabis laws.
Cheyenne Benyi is an Associate Attorney at Grewal Law PLLC. She is the Lead Attorney for the firm's Cannabis Division and her other practice areas include criminal defense and general civil matters.