June 07, 2018, Louisiana
In the last couple of years, research on the therapeutic aspects of cannabis administration has considerably increased. Researchers are continuously expanding the scope of their studies to test different constituents of the strain for a range of medical conditions.
In the latest such development, Southern University and A&M College in collaboration with Advanced Biomedics (an MMJ Company) have agreed on commencing research studies on the therapeutic features of the strain. It is also worth noting that the institute is the first HBCU (historically black college or university) to inaugurate a medical cannabis program.
The MOU signed between the university and Advanced Biomedics have several provision enlisted. For instance, the agricultural division of the institute will cultivate medical-grade marijuana. They will also commence the production of few MMJ products as well.
Moreover, the research wing of the university will begin multiple studies to examine marijuana from a medicinal point of view. Advanced Biomedics on their part will provide the initial funding of $6 million dollars to the university. It will cover the expenses of first five years and both parties have already indicated to extend their partnership.
According to local news sources, the contract will be renewed for two terms automatically. Moreover, the company will pay a bonus of $1 million dollars to the university on the renewal of every term. All the paperwork of the contract has been finalized and the university is now waiting for the approval of cannabis regulators in Louisiana. The state’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry will run the necessary background checks before green-lighting the program.
A New Cultivation Site is in Line
As soon as the state approves the partnership, Southern University has the plan to build a new cultivation site for growing medical-grade cannabis. It has been reported that the university already owns a 176-acre piece of land and the MMJ cultivation site will be built there. If things go as planned, then the site can yield its first batch of cannabis crop in the first quarter of 2019.
Chancellor of the university’s agricultural division, Bobby Phills, says they will be more than happy to provide top-quality therapeutic cannabis to the residents. Moreover, he believes that the partnership with Advanced Biomedics will also facilitate the local economic development. The research program will create nearly 40 new jobs for the cultivation and production of MMJ products. Baton Rouge Community (where the university is located) will be benefited from this.
Involvement of HBCU is Significant
Racial disproportion has always been a burning issue in the US. In connection with cannabis, racial inequality is very evident with more prosecution of the black population as compared to whites. In addition, most of the legal marijuana ventures are run by white entrepreneurs.
In the backdrop of this visible racial prejudice, the commencement of MMJ research program from an HBCU is indeed a step forward. This will help in toning down the discernment that cannabis industry also faces a lack of diversity.