UBC creates professor of cannabis science role

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The University of British Columbia is creating a new professorship to study the potential role of marijuana to treat opioid addiction, funded by the provincial government and one of the cannabis industry’s biggest players.

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Epidemiologist and research scientist M-J Milloy will be the first Canopy Growth professor of cannabis science at the university.

The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions says in a statement the professorship will lead clinical trials to explore how cannabis can help people with opioid use disorders stay on their treatment plan.

The ministry says Milloy’s research has shown that daily cannabis use has been linked to an increased likelihood that people will maintain treatment and to a lower risk of street-involved youth starting to inject drugs.

Minister Judy Darcy says Milloy will be the first professor in Canada focused on closing a knowledge gap between cannabis and opioid treatment.

Marijuana company Canopy Growth is contributing $2.5 million, while the province is paying $500,000 to UBC and the BC Centre on Substance Use for the position.