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Another Canadian academic position is being created to focus exclusively on cannabis-related research.

Canopy Growth Corp., Canada’s largest marijuana grower, is contributing $2.5-million to the University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) to establish the Canopy Growth Professorship of Cannabis Science. Dr. M-J Milloy, currently a substance use epidemiologist at the BCCSU, will become the first researcher to hold the position, with plans to hold clinical trials exploring whether cannabis can help people with opioid use disorder stay on their treatment plans.

Dr. Milloy has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, several of which dealt with the public health impacts of cannabis regulation and its potential medical applications.

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“This first-of-its-kind professorship will lead research and clinical trials on how cannabis products can be used to address the overdose crisis that is taking three to four lives a day,” Judy Darcy, B.C.’s Minister of Mental Health and Additions, said in a statement.

The UBC announcement comes just two days after the University of New Brunswick appointed Dr. Yang Qu as that institution’s first cannabis health research chair. Formerly a plant biologist at Brock University, Dr. Qu spent the last five years researching the effectiveness of plant-based compounds as cancer treatments. That position was funded via a $1-million contribution from The New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and a $500,000 contribution from Orleans, Ont.-based Tetra Bio-Pharma.

Last month, a team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre published a study in the academic journal ‘Pain’ claiming to pinpoint the exact effective dose of cannabis required for safe pain relief.

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