Eli Ridder | Report
The University of British Columbia is looking towards the future by forming a cannabis research position in partnership with the province to study marijuana potential to treat opioid addiction.
The university and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions tapped M-J Milloy to take on the position, and will be tasked with leading clinical trials to find how pot can support those with opioid use disorders to stay on board with their treatment plan.
Research scientist Mr. Milloy, who studies the transmission of diseases, has found that daily pot use has been linked to an increased likelihood that treatment will be maintained and lowers risk of street youth starting to inject drugs.
Milloy will be the first professor in Canada tasked with bridging the knowledge gap between cannabis and opioid treatment, mental health minister Judy Darcy said.
The professor will be also the first Canopy Growth professor of cannabis science, a major pot company that will be contributing $2.5 million to the research, while British Columbia is sponsoring $500,000 to the university and the BC Centre on Substance Use, according to published numbers.
The announcement was released on Friday, with Minister Darcy saying that “we need all hands-on-deck to save lives and help people find the treatment and recovery services that will work for them long term.”
“Our government has been bold and innovative in providing treatment options – based on evidence – for people living with addiction. 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.”
University of Guelph-Humber student Hannah Derue, who was working on opioid research at Bridgepoint in Toronto over the summer, said that the new partnership “is the only way to progress.”
Derue, a fourth year psychology student, added that other post-secondary institutions would be “missing out on an opportunity if they don’t do something similar” on their own campuses.
Currently, there are no research positions at the University of Guelph-Humber dedicated to cannabis study, according to the directory.
However, legalization just occurred last month, which could open doors for studies in the future, according to students that The Avro Post has received comment from since Oct. 17, the day the doors opened for cannabis.
Image of M-J Milloy from UBC website.