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CSU-Pueblo finalizes Cannabis Research Projects through ICR

Release Date: November 29, 2016

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

719.549.2810

Press Release

PUEBLO - The Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR) at Colorado State University-Pueblo has finalized the awards for cannabis-related research that will be conducted on the campus in the coming year, using Pueblo County and state funding.

The ICR exists to generate new knowledge of cannabis and its derivatives through education and research. While there has been significant cannabis-related research over the past few decades in certain areas, many gaps in knowledge remain, resulting in unscientific and anecdotal assessments of its benefits and risks to society.

Currently, 10 CSU-Pueblo faculty are leading the research that is categorized by major projects, pilot studies, and professional development. They represent a variety of academic disciplines, including psychology, education, engineering, business, biology, and chemistry.

Among the major projects are an examination of the effects of medicinal cannabinoids (CBD) on seizures in adults with medically refractory epilepsy, analysis of industrial hemp fibers in 3D-printing, and development of a cannabis growth and research infrastructure at the university. Some of the pilot studies include development of a novel method for extracting CBD from cannabis leaves and flowers, an analysis of the effects of CBD in the neural pathways that promote emotional learning and memory, an investigation of the role of endocannabinoid-induced metabolic changes on viral infections, and a study on K-12 education issues including building on the state’s most recent Colorado Healthy Kids survey data.

The research represents direct investments of $220,000 from Pueblo County and $739,946 of state monies. The University also will conduct a Pueblo County impact study with an additional $50,000 of Pueblo County funding. The state monies for research represent most of the allocation from the last year’s funding through Senate Bill 16-191, that provided $900,000 to CSU-Pueblo to create the Institute of Cannabis Research. The remaining funds are going toward costs associated with next year’s cannabis research conference to be held in April 2017 on the campus, the development of a Journal of Cannabis Research, and the addition of an interim managing director position to help with coordination, communication, and institute reporting.

In addition to the faculty research, an ICR steering committee is developing infrastructure for the institute and drafting policies and procedures.  New communication efforts also are being implemented to explain the progress, goals, and vision of the institute to elected officials, funders, and the community.

“I’m very pleased with the progress being made at the institute,” said CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare. “It is imperative that we are good stewards of the state and county funds through our research and education mission, and that we communicate our progress to our constituents.”

During the upcoming Colorado legislative session, university leaders will present a 2018 budget plan to continue the work of the institute. Additionally, the institute steering committee is responsible for ensuring its current programming is implemented as well as laying the groundwork for the future of the institute. New research strands, collaboration with other universities, government, and the private sector are being considered, as well as potential state, national, and international partnerships.​

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Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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