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UC Davis partners with pharmaceutical company ahead of cannabis research center launch

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Joe Devlin has been appointed as the Sacramento's first Chief of Cannabis Policy Enforcement. He will be the marijuana compliance manager for multiple city agencies licensing and overseeing dispensaries, commercial cultivators, manufacturers labs
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Joe Devlin has been appointed as the Sacramento's first Chief of Cannabis Policy Enforcement. He will be the marijuana compliance manager for multiple city agencies licensing and overseeing dispensaries, commercial cultivators, manufacturers labs

The University of California, Davis will be partnering with a pharmaceutical company to research cannabis ahead of the planned launch of its Cannabis and Hemp Research Center.

In a news release, UC Davis announced its partnership with DEA-registrant Biopharmaceutical Research Company, which is an applicant to manufacture cannabis for federally-approved research into the drug.

The university and the company will be working together to analyze cannabis sativa for potential applications in health care, law enforcement and scientific research.

“While cannabis is already available for medicinal and recreational use in a majority of states, cannabis research has long struggled to keep pace with the law,” UC Davis professor and plant sciences department chair Gail Taylor said in a prepared statement. “We expect this partnership to bring more scientific understanding of the plant and its products so that regulators can more effectively manage potential risks and benefits.”

Researchers from UC Davis and Biopharmaceutical Research Company will examine the chemical and biological profiles of cannabis in the company’s lab, analyze the composition of cannabinoids THC and CBD, evaluate research methods in an attempt to achieve standardization and look into the interactions between cannabis and microbes, pathogens and pests, according to the release. No cannabis will come onto university property as part of the partnership.

Outcomes of the partnership may provide tools for governments to better regulate cannabis while health care providers may be able to utilize new treatment and prescription practices.

Biopharmaceutical Research Company’s cannabis cultivation application is pending, so research materials will be acquired through DEA channels. The company plans to begin cultivation for research after receiving authorization from the DEA.

“BRC was founded on the mission of examining how cannabis can effectively be used to help patients across America, particularly veterans struggling with depression, post-traumatic stress, chronic pain and other wartime wounds,” Biopharmaceutical Research Company founder and CEO George Hodgin said in a prepared statement. “The BRC team is eager to support UC Davis in this research endeavor, and to help lawmakers and regulators better understand the science of cannabis, so stakeholders can more effectively make policy and health decisions.”

The announcement came ahead of the launch of the university’s Cannabis and Hemp Research Center, planned to open later this year. UC Davis is currently in the process of appointing faculty directors of the center.

“The center will stimulate new research and educational exchange by convening conferences and seminars, providing seed funding and engaging with policymakers,” UC Davis Office of Research executive associate vice chancellor for research administration Cindy Kiel said in a prepared statement. “It will also provide a centralized resource to ensure compliance with current laws and policies.”

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.
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