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Institute of Cannabis Research and Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center Hosting Virtual Cannabis Research Conference Beginning August 3

Release Date: July 29, 2021

Haley Sue Robinson

Director of Communication/PIO

Marketing, Communications and Community Relations


Cannabis Research at CSU Pueblo

PUEBLO—The Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR) located at Colorado State University Pueblo has partnered with Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center to host the 2021 Virtual Cannabis Research Conference. The conference takes place Aug. 3 through 5 which engages with global cannabis innovators exploring new cannabis research frontiers.

The ICR and Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center partnered in the last two years for the Cannabis Research Conference, with plans to co-host the event and trade-off locations each year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the conference was moved virtually although it was originally planned to take place on the campus of CSU Pueblo. 

Director of the ICR and Chemistry Professor at CSU Pueblo, Chad Kinney shared the strength of the partnership and how it has enhanced the conference dynamic.

“Oregon State is a research institution which is much different than CSU Pueblo being a regional comprehensive university, it’s a complement to our work,” said Kinney. “They come with a hemp and a much more agriculture approach, which brings a different component to the conference. There’s a new influence for research and the panel discussions now that they’re involved.”

This is the second year for the conference to take place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although this year the event has expanded the interactions for participants. This year the conference uses a platform that offers a virtual exhibit hall which utilizes virtual reality. Conference attendees will be able to visit booths and talk to vendors as if they were in person.

Kinney shared that the virtual component has also increased participation with registrants due to the lower cost of the event since those who cannot travel or would otherwise be restricted are now able to join. Concurrent sessions continue for the virtual event, just as an in-person conference offers a selection of presentations and panel discussions.

“The keynote speakers are always a highlight for this event and we’re looking forward to hosting both Dr. Piomelli and Dr. Huestis,” said Kinney. “We’re also very fortunate that Dr. Mechoulam will be joining us again virtually,” said Kinney.

Dr. Daniele Piomelli will deliver the Mechoulam Lecture at the conference. Dr. Mechoulam, for whom the lecture series is named, recommended Dr. Piomelli for this honor. Dr. Piomelli studied pharmacology and neuroscience at Columbia University and at Rockefeller University. He is a Distinguished Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Louise Turner Arnold Chair in Neurosciences at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Piomelli is an author of more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and journals. 

Dr. Marilyn A. Heustis will serve and the Opening Pienary speaker for the 2021 Virtual Cannabis Research Conference. Dr. Heustis is known for her clinical and forensic toxicology knowledge with anti-doping, diagnostic screening and confirmation drug testing, and cannabinoid agonists and antagonists. Through her research, she focuses on improving people’s lives by reducing deaths from drugged driving, finding novel medications to treat drug dependence, and using drugs testing a stool for drug dependence treatment. Dr. Heustis has published 474 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and more than 800 abstracts she’s presented at national and international meetings.

The first Cannabis Research Conference took place in the spring of 2017 and has expanded since its inception. Currently, the conference is expecting over 300 attendees, but there is still time to register and participate before it begins, Tues. Aug. 3. More information about the 2021 Cannabis Research Conference can be found at

The 2022 Cannabis Research Conference is set to take place in Bend, Oregon hosted by Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center Aug. 8 through 10.

The ICR was established in 2016 at CSU Pueblo, becoming the first multi-disciplinary cannabis research center at a regional comprehensive institution of higher education. The ICR supports research throughout the year and hosts a monthly webinar series with cannabis-related topics and guest speakers from throughout the United States. In addition to the monthly webinar series and the research conducted throughout the year, the ICR assists with the publication of the Journal of Cannabis Research.

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