Calif. Awards $30M in Pot Research Grants

By Willis Jacobson
Dec 1, 2020

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will distribute nearly $30M in pot research grants to public universities across the state, with the funds earmarked for 34 separate cannabis-related studies.

Nine universities will receive funding, with individual grants ranging from $144,949 to $2M, according to a Nov. 13 announcement by the BCC. Research proposals had to fall within at least one of several specified categories, including public health, criminal justice and public safety, economic effects, environmental impacts, and/or the cannabis industry, according to the BCC.

Outgoing BCC Chief Lori Ajax, whose resignation is set to become effective Wednesday after five years on the job, called the research “a valuable tool to inform future cannabis policy in California.”

The grant funds come from state taxes on cannabis cultivation and sales. The grant program was established through Proposition 64, the 2016 ballot measure that legalized REC in the state as of Jan. 1, 2018.  The BCC received more than 100 applications, according to the agency. 

The universities selected for the awards include:

  • UC Berkeley: eight separate grants totaling nearly $4.68M.
  • UCLA: seven grants, $6.41M.
  • UC San Francisco: five grants, $6.44M.
  • UC Davis: five grants, $3.12M.
  • UC San Diego: four grants, $3.43M.
  • CSU Humboldt: two grants, $648,012.
  • UC Santa Barbara: one grant, $1.99M.
  • CSU Dominguez Hills: one grant, $1.87M.
  • UC Irvine: one grant, $1.35M.

The approved proposals cover a wide range of topics. Here’s a look at the studies that were selected to receive more than $1M in grant funding:

  • Public Policy:
    • Local Regulation of Cannabis in California ($1.83M, UC Berkeley).
    • Exploring Cannabis Policies and practices that Influence Adolescent Use: Evolution of Local Cannabis Laws, Products, Sales and Marketing ($1.35M, UC Irvine).
    • Assessing the Feasibility and Consequences of Implementing a Cannabis Potency Tax in California ($1.08M, UCLA).
  • Public Health:
    • Comprehensive Analysis of Developmental Cannabis Exposure on Brain, Immune, and Sensory Systems ($2M, UC San Francisco).
    • Impact of Cannabis Potency on The Properties, Composition, and Toxicity of Inhaled and Second-Hand Smoke ($1.43M, UCLA).
    • The Public Health Impact of Cannabis Legalization in California: A Comprehensive Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis by Age, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, and Regions ($1.32M, UC San Diego).
    • Effects of Chronic Cannabis Use on Endothelial Function ($1.38M, UC San Francisco).
    • The LEAF Study: Lung Effects and Function Associated with Cannabis Use ($1.07M, UC San Francisco).
    • Public Health Impacts of State Policies Mandating Point-of-Sale Warning Signs Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy ($1.04M, UC San Francisco).
    • Understanding the Impact of Cannabis Use in Early Psychosis ($1.03M, UC Davis).
  • Environment:
    • Surface Water Emissions from Cannabis Cultivation Sites: Quantity, Quality, Toxicity, and Relationships to Farmers’ Practices ($1.99M, UC Santa Barbara).
  • Cannabis Industry:
    • Cannabis Industry in South Bay Los Angeles ($1.87M, CSU Dominguez Hills).
    • Study of Employment Conditions and Equity in California’s Cannabis Industry ($1.05M, UCLA).
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