The University of California at Berkley has announced that it has opened a cannabis research center that will study the effects of cannabis production upon society and the environment. This announcement was made on Tuesday this week (January 29).
UC officials also revealed that the research center will primarily focus on three major areas.
The first is cannabis regulation and policy. Cannabis regulations and policies have been evolving rapidly and they merit research in order to ascertain whether those policies and regulations have made the industry better, whether the policymakers had sufficient information upon which they based when drafting the regulations and policies, etc.
The research center will also study how cannabis production affects the environment. For example, what effects do cannabis plants have on groundwater? Is it better (for the environment) to grow cannabis in indoor facilities or outdoor grows are better? How can the adverse environmental impacts (if any) of cannabis production be mitigated? Such, and other issues will occupy the researchers who will devote their time and resources to looking into the environmental effects of cannabis production.
The third major area of research will be the impact of cannabis production on society. Already, some lawsuits have been filed against cannabis grow facilities in some neighborhoods while some local authorities have enacted ordinances that ban any marijuana-related activities in their jurisdictions. At the same time, many communities are clamoring to have cannabis production facilities in their areas in order to reap the economic benefits that such developments bring. So, the responses to cannabis production span the entire gamut of what anyone can imagine as a potential reaction to this controversial plant. The researchers will look into all these societal effects and provide scientific data to inform the decision-making process.
Ted Grantham and Van Butsic, both faculty members in UC Berkley’s Department of Policy and Management, and Environmental Sciences will head the interdisciplinary team at the research center.
The direction taken by the research center at UC Berkley is unique because so far, other researchers have devoted their resources to studying how cannabis affects people (the positive and negative) at the level of an individual. Grantham and his team want to broaden the lens and look at the bigger picture. This approach is a welcome development for the cannabis industry, including Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQB: PLPRF) and Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF), because it will provide deeper insights into the broader aspects of the industry.
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