New Cannabis Research Center Opens at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Launches

New Cannabis Research Center Opens at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Launches

The University of Minnesota School of Public Health has just unveiled its groundbreaking initiative, the Cannabis Research Center (CRC), aimed at evaluating the effects of adult-use cannabis legalization and shaping future policies in the state.

This noteworthy development, announced on Thursday, stems from the state’s adult-use legalization law, which allocates a substantial $2.5 million annually from cannabis sales tax to establish the CRC.

Dr. Traci Toomey, a distinguished professor at the School of Public Health, assumes the pivotal role of the CRC’s inaugural director. The research will span various aspects, including the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders, equity concerns, educational initiatives, and the exploration of decriminalization.

Timothy Beebe, the Interim Dean of the School of Public Health, outlined the initial priorities for the CRC. These include identifying key staff and faculty members with relevant expertise, forming an executive committee to guide the center’s strategy, and establishing partnerships across the state to advance its crucial work.

The CRC has already laid down fundamental principles to steer its endeavors. These principles encompass leading the scientific community in cannabis research, prioritizing questions related to equity with an unwavering commitment to antiracist practices, optimizing health benefits, and minimizing health issues associated with cannabis use. Additionally, the CRC aspires to be a reliable source of information on cannabis research for individuals, communities, and organizations.

Dean Beebe expressed confidence in the CRC’s ability to collaborate effectively with state and local agencies, as well as community-based organizations. The aim is to explore and identify the primary research priorities concerning cannabis use in Minnesota. Beebe stated, “I am confident that, under Dr. Toomey’s leadership, the CRC will provide the data and evidence our policymakers need to make informed decisions about cannabis to prevent inequity and adverse health impacts throughout Minnesota.” The CRC’s mission is clear: to be a catalyst for informed decision-making that promotes equity and safeguards the well-being of Minnesota’s residents.