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Colleges and Universities with Cannabis Student Organizations



History shows that youth-led movements have been instrumental in affecting change on racial, social, and civil rights issues and the cannabis industry has been no different.

Cannabis advocates and activists have been leading the charge for legalization since Henry Anslinger ushered in an era of prohibition back in the 1930s.

Organizations like Students for Sensible Drug Policy have molded countless cannabis advocates and policymakers like Jason Ortiz, Shaleen Title, and Evan Nison who have been instrumental in bringing about change at the state and federal levels. The legacy of these leaders continues to live on in a new era of student-led organizations.

There are few better places to push for the destigmatization of cannabis than the world’s leading colleges and universities – the institutions that have the credibility to greatly shift the public’s perception of this plant.

Undergraduate cannabis student organizations

Through education, policy, law, and business, here is a list of student cannabis organizations shaping future generations of the global cannabis community.   

Allan Hancock College: The Hemp and Cannabis Club (THC)

The Hemp and Cannabis Club balances student interest in both the hemp (CBD-based variant) and cannabis industries despite the THC acronym. The main goal is to provide awareness and an opportunity for Hancock students “to take part in in-field training and hands-on work with local community partners” in order to support the Hancock Hemp and Cannabis Program led by advisor and research coordinator Anjali Misra. 

Advisor: Anjali Misra

President: Kevin Hernandez


The top 25 universities and colleges leading cannabis research

Boston University: SMART

SMART at Boston University was established in 2021 and was led by Madison Miranda ‘24,  Chapter President and student of BU’s Questrom School of Business. SMART at Boston University focuses on educational programming, community building, and career development opportunities.

Established: 2021

President: Madison Miranda ‘24

University of California – Los Angeles: Cannaclub

Cannaclub at UCLA is one of the oldest student cannabis organizations focused on interdisciplinary research, social innovation, and entrepreneurship. Cannaclub was founded by cannabis industry professional and advocate, Maha Haq, during her junior year in 2017. Cannaclub is still active and growing, led by Chapter President, Hannah Cass ‘22.

Established: 2017

Founder: Maha Haq ‘18

President: Hannah Cass ‘22

University of California – San Diego: Cannaclub

Cannaclub at UCSD was established in 2021 in order to bring a trusted cannabis community to the UCSD campus. Led by Chapter President, Ronald Moreno ‘22, Cannaclub at UCSD is bridging the gap between California’s cannabis industry and the next generation of cannabis professionals interested in education, advocacy, and job opportunities. 

Established: 2021

Advisor: Taylor Navas

President: Ronald Moreno ‘22

University of California at Santa Barbara: Cannaclub

Cannaclub at UCSB  is a student-run organization affiliated with the Cannaclub network. The chapter‘s purpose is to provide stigma-free educational opportunities to students and teach the basics of responsible cannabis consumption of cannabis through a harm reduction lens.

Established: 2020

President: Gavin Morgan ‘22

University of Southern California: Cannabis at USC

Cannabis at USC is a CannaClub-affiliated chapter with the purpose of providing the necessary education, tools, and opportunities for students to navigate the cannabis landscape. Cannabis at USC hosts on-campus events and routinely invites USC alumni within the cannabis industry to network with the student body.

Established: 2019

President: Julianna Montano ‘23

Cornell University: SMART

SMART at Cornell University’s purpose is to educate and make all people of the Cornell University Community aware of the medicinal, economical, and spiritual benefits of cannabis while exploring opportunities for research, entrepreneurship, and career development. Led by Jordan Olivier ‘23 and Dr. Carlyn Buckler, an associate professor at Cornell Hemp School of Integrative Plant Science.

Established: 2020

Advisor: Dr. Carlyn Buckler

President: Jordan Olivier ‘23

Georgetown University: Cannaclub

Cannaclub at Georgetown is a student organization focused on education, advocacy and networking within the cannabis space. Located in Washington D.C. at Georgetown, this chapter of Cannaclub is one of its first on the East Coast.

Established: 2019

Iowa State University: NORML ISU

ISU-NORML is an official university chapter affiliated with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.  NORML ISU’s goal is to impact the current status of laws concerning cannabis (marijuana) in the state of Iowa, and in the United States at large. In 2021, the organization collected over 3,000 signatures to petition Iowa lawmakers for adult-use cannabis legalization.

President: Blake Clark ‘23

Northern Michigan University: Medicinal Plant Chemistry Club

Northern Michigan University’s Medicinal Plant Chemistry Club is on a mission to explore all aspects of medicinal chemistry and a wide array of medicinal plants, including cannabis. This is a complementary organization that creates a tight-knit community for students in the Medicinal Plant Chemistry department, a 4-year undergraduate program.

But luckily, it is open to all university medicinal plant chemists, chemists, biochemists, neurobiologists, microbiologists, and anthropologists, too.

Established: 2019

Advisor: Dr. Lesley Putman

President: Darren Simmons ‘22

San Diego State University: Cannaclub

Cannaclub at SDSU was established with the purpose to ignite student engagement in the cannabis space by creating a community centered around education, social innovation, entrepreneurship, and advocacy. Cannaclub at SDSU hosts events that introduce students to the cannabis industry through the coordination of awareness campaigns, information sessions, networking opportunities, events, and service opportunities.

Established: 2021

President: Daniel Cordova ’22

Stockton University: SMART

SMART at Stockton has three primary goals of education, research, and career development. The organization partners with its respective university to promote awareness of on-campus and local initiatives like its recent Cannabis Career Fair and Business Expo held at Stockton University in conjunction with NJ Cannabis Insider.

Established: 2018

Advisor: Robert Mejia

President: Iain Lowrie ‘23

University of Missouri:
National Organization Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML)

MU-NORML’s mission is to organize students through educational events and political organizing. MU NORML led by Executive Director, Anna Poppe ‘23, is currently supporting the legalization of adult-use cannabis, automatic expungement, and new cannabis business licenses in their push to gather signatures for the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign.

Established: 2020

President: Anna Poppe ‘23

University of Tampa: DisJointed

DisJointed is a peer education initiative powered by Live Well UT, the University of Tampa’s student-led health & wellness organization. DisJointed works to ensure students are educated on cannabis health effects and forms of consumption in order to prevent over intoxication or abuse.

Peer educator: Caroline Dinkins ‘23

Peer educator: Skyler Edge ‘23

University of Texas at Austin: Texas Horns for Cannabis (THC)

Texas Horns for Cannabis (THC) is built on the mission to educate and rid of cannabis’ societal stigma in addition to showcasing the avenues for economic and professional opportunity within the cannabis industry. THC was founded by Bratzzo Banich in 2019 and is currently led by Chapter President, Zachary Padilla ‘22.

Established: 2019

Founder: Bratzzo Banich ‘20 

President: Zachary Padilla ‘22

Tuskegee University: SMART

SMART at Tuskegee University is the first chapter of SMART established at an HBCU (Historically Black College and University). SMART has been officially titled a co-curricular program at Tuskegee U which is a higher level status organization with the opportunity to develop an educational curriculum.  This organization is led by agriculture and Ph.D. student, Kandeaux Clark ‘17, as well as alumni Lakiah Clark ‘13.

Established: 2019

Advisor:  Kandeaux Clark ‘17

President: Lakiah Clark ‘13

Writtle University College: The Gaia Club

The Gaia Club is a student-led organization founded by the BS, Horticultural students from Writtle University College in England.  The Gaia Club is centered around sustainability and environmentally-friendly ways of growing.

While there is no explicit mention of hemp or cannabis on their site, Writtle University College researchers like Ph.D. student Simon Jones and Dr. Chris Bishop, both specialists in Postharvest Technology, have shown the applications of their work through previous investigations of Jamaica’s cannabis industry.

Established: 2020

Co-Founder: Toby Alkhersan ‘22

President: Petar Popara ‘22

Graduate student cannabis organizations

Arizona State University: Cannabis Legal Association

The Cannabis Legal Association is a graduate-level student organization established at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law in 2021. The Cannabis Legal Association focuses on the intersections of cannabis, Business Law, and Criminal Law.

Established: 2021

President: Savanna Wright ‘22

Brooklyn Law School: Cannabis Law Association (CLA)

Cannabis Law Association at Brooklyn Law School was founded to host stigma-free discussion conversations on. CLA continues to build a network of knowledgeable cannabis attorneys, both on-campus and through first-hand experiences connecting with industry professionals.

University of California at Los Angeles – School of Law:
Cannabis Law Association

The Cannabis Law Association is a graduate student organization established at the University of California’s School of Law. Cannabis Law Association is on a mission to inform students about the legal market servicing the cannabis industry, including employment opportunities and developments in the cannabis industry and its intersection with various fields of law.

Chair: Janve Sobers ‘23

Treasurer: Nicole Matsuda ‘23

University of Southern California

Gould School of Law: Cannabis Law Society

Cannabis Law Society is a graduate student organization established at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law and currently led by Alexander Tron ‘22. Cannabis Law Society provides resources and opportunities for law students to learn about ongoing legal issues and policies at the local, state, and federal level.

President: Alexander Tron ‘22

University of Southern California

Marshall School of Business: Marshall Cannabis Association

Marshall Cannabis Association is a graduate student organization established at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business led by Julian Garcia ‘22. The Marshall Cannabis Association is built on three pillars of education, career planning, and stigmatization and explores these concepts within the medical and recreational cannabis markets.

President: Julian Garcia ‘22

Columbia University

Business School: Cannabis Business Association (CBA)

Cannabis Business Association is a graduate student organization based out of Columbia Business School. CBA is driven by the mission to educate MBA students and the greater New York community about the interdisciplinary opportunities within the cannabis industry with a special focus on equity and sustainability as it relates to business.

Established: 2019

Co-President: Nicole Zeigler ‘22

Co-President: Mo Kamaly ‘22

Cornell University: Johnson Cannabusiness Club

Johnson Cannabusiness Club is a graduate student organization founded out of Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.  The Johnson Cannabusiness Club exclusively centers on cannabis business issues,  relationship-building with industry leaders, and the transition from student into part and full-time roles.

Advisor: Rhonda Velazquez

President: Patrick Schaffer ‘22

Florida A&M University

College of Law: Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana

Graduate students at Florida A&M University’s College of Law have partnered with community organization, Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana, to launch one of their first HBCU chapters. FAMU M4MM is dedicated to creating a diverse, advocacy-driven, and educated community and cannabis industry at large.

President: Kimberly Scott ‘22

Harvard University- Business School: Business of Cannabis Club

Business of Cannabis Club is an active graduate student organization at Harvard Business School. The club’s goal is to “debunk the main myth clouding peoples’ perceptions of cannabis-related companies” and provide an avenue for MBA students to gain real experience connecting with industry leaders. Check out their org website here.

Co-President: Ryan Yu ‘22

Co-President: Krishna Pathak ‘22

CFO: Sasha Slayton ‘22

University of Maryland at Baltimore
Medical Cannabis Student Association (MCSA)

Medical Cannabis Student Association is a dual advocacy and science-based graduate student organization launched by University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) students within the Master of Science – Medical Cannabis Science & Therapeutics program. MCSA focuses on identifying opportunities to engage in medical cannabis advocacy and highlight the latest in medical cannabis research around the globe.

Established: 2020

Founder: Maha Haq 21’

President: Codi Peterson 22’

University of Maryland: Green Wolverine

Green Wolverine at UMD is a graduate student organization established at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland led by Zachary Wildes ‘23. Green Wolverine at UMD is designed for the keen purpose of educating members about legal business opportunities in the cannabis industry and providing a trusted pathway for “achieving financial success in related fields.”

Established: 2020

President: Zachary Wildes ‘23

University of Miami – School of Law: Cannabis Law League

Cannabis Law League is a recently established organization at the University of Miami’s School of Law.  Cannabis Law League’s goal is to increase the educational resources and decrease the societal stigma around the cannabis industry by including coverage of both business and consumers. Members like Jessica Palma ‘23 have begun advocacy work by sealing and expunging records of individuals with prior cannabis charges.

Established: 2021

Advisor: Marcia Narine Weldon

President: Peyton Pipes ‘23

Michigan State University – College of Law: International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA)

International Cannabis Bar Association at MSU (formerly Seven Point Society) is a student association at Michigan State University’s College of Law and affiliated with The International Cannabis Bar Association, a global community of the most experienced legal practitioners serving the regulated cannabis industry. INCBA at MSU is for students who have an interest in pursuing mentorship and a career in the growing intersections of cannabis, hemp, and law.

Advisor: David Revore

President: Alex Padla ‘23

University of Nevada at Las Vegas: Cannabis Law Society (CLawS)

Cannabis Law Society is a graduate student organization established through UNLV’s William S. Boy School of Law. CLawS members organize to gain a better understanding of medical, environmental, economic, and civil libertarian arguments as it pertains to cannabis and hemp laws in Nevada and the greater United States.

CLawS explores the intersection of intellectual property law, tax law, environmental law, health law, criminal law, and corporate law, among other fields of law.

President: Taylor Jorgensen ‘22

Treasurer: Servando Martinez ‘20      

New York University- Law: CannaLaw

CannaLaw is NYU Law’s first student organization dedicated exclusively to the cannabis industry.CannaLaw has a unique opportunity to work within a cross-institutional cannabis network working alongside our sister organizations at NYU Stern’s CannaBusiness and NYU Wagner’s CannaPolicy, to hold collaborative law, policy, and business opportunities for students.

CannaLaw is bringing an equitable mindset to its activities by working on initiatives to offer legal services where students can assist individuals previously convicted of marijuana crimes to gain clemency and expungement of records.

Co-President: Alex Kronman ‘22

Co-President: Jacob Golan ‘23

New York University- School of Public Service: CannaPolicy

CannaPolicy is the official cannabis student organization at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service founded by alumna, Tosin Ajayi ‘20. CannaPolicy’s goal is to provide Wagner and NYU students with the educational resources to responsibly support cannabis legalization and repair communities harmed by the War on Drugs.

CannaPolicy is dedicated to initiatives that foster a responsible, equitable, and socially-conscious cannabis industry for all.

Established: 2019

Advisor: Paul Light

Founder: Tosin Ajayi ‘20

President: Michelle Smoler ‘23

New York University – Stern School of Business: CannaBusiness

CannaBusiness is the official cannabis student organization at the NYU Stern School of Business led by President, Angie Siefert ‘22. Through CannaBusiness, MBA students seek education, undergo critical thinking on the intersection of cannabis and business, and learn from industry professionals.

CannaBusiness is driven by a mission to build the foundation for an equitable cannabis industry in New York and beyond.

Established: 2019

President: Angie Siefert ‘22

University of the Pacific – McGeorge School of Law: Cannabis Law Society at McGeorge

Cannabis Law Society at McGeorge is a graduate student organization founded at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. The Cannabis Law Society’s objective is to reduce the stigma associated with cannabis by learning the laws and regulations on cannabis cultivation and use. Members gain real-world experience by visiting a cultivation farm, meeting cannabis professionals specializing in cultivation, and engaging with attorneys who have firsthand expertise in the cannabis industry.

Established: 2018

President: Alexander Atkinson

University of Pittsburgh – School of Pharmacy: Student Society of Cannabis Pharmacists (SSCP)

Student Society of Cannabis Pharmacists is a graduate student organization established at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy led by President Rose Rattner ‘24.

SSCP is highly focused on better understanding the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. Additionally, the SSCP values advocacy and providing educational resources to the general public, healthcare specialists, and industry professionals. It is open to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

President: Rose Rattner ‘24

Vice-President: Sydney Lee ‘24

Santa Clara University- School of Law: Cannabis Law and Policy Group (CLGP)

Cannabis Law and Policy Group is a graduate student organization based out of Santa Clara University’s School of Law led by co-presidents, Arbana Lika ‘22 and Shaela Prince ‘22. CLGP hones in on all the ways cannabis law intersects with various avenues of law including but not limited to litigation, in-house work, constitutional law, criminal law, IP, agricultural law, business law, and public policy.

CLGP values the need to discuss equity as it relates to racial injustice, socioeconomic inequities, and the unequal enforcement of criminal and drug policy.

Co-President: Arbana Lika ‘22

Co-President: Shaela Prince ‘22

Southern University – Law Center: Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana

The Southern University – Law Center is home to another one of Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana’s HBCU chapters. Led by President Shanelle Staten ‘23, SULC-M4MM emphasizes the intersection of social equity and law and most recently hosted an Expungement Initiative event in March 2022.

Advisor: Professor Marla Dickerson

Co-President: Shanelle Staten ‘23

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Nadir Pearson

Nadir is a dynamic cannabis leader and entrepreneur from the East Coast He is the founder of SMART (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency) a national college cannabis organization and co-founder of Hybrid Co. Nadir also serves as a project lead for Cannaclusive.

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Cannabis Industry

Top 25 Cannabis Research Colleges | Updated for 2022




One of the biggest disputes from anti-cannabis proponents is that there is simply not enough research on the subject. The science proves this is simply untrue if we look at the United States’ Pharmacopeia support of cannabis medicine dating all the way back to the 1850s.

Currently, there is a wave of cannabis research that is only continuing to grow. The recent passing of the Medical Marijuana Research Act through the U.S. House Bill is an indicative sign of the monumental paradigm shift for cannabis researchers throughout the country and ultimately the globe.

The importance of cannabis research

Female scientist in a hemp field checking plants

Up-to-date, multidisciplinary studies are more important than ever as our global society seeks to grasp the holistic impact of cannabis science, agriculture, policy, and law into actionable measures that foster an equitable, sustainable cannabis industry.

Cannabis research departments across the U.S.

Here’s a comprehensive list of U.S. colleges and universities leading the way with trailblazing research efforts, arranged in alphabetical order.

Alabama A&M University

College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences (CALNS)
Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station

Alabama A&M University (AAMU) is an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), an 1890 Land-Grant Institution, and one of five AL universities licensed to grow hemp cannabis and hemp for research purposes.

AAMU’s Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station and recently has partnered with Oregon State University and Phylos to plant over 400,000 seeds in Alabama and Tennessee.

Lead researcher: Ernst Cebert, Ph.D., WTARS Manager

Led by: College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences (CALNS)

Alabama State University

ASU Industrial Hemp & Entomology Research Lab

Since 2019, Alabama State University’s Industrial Hemp & Entomology Research Lab has launched dedicated initiatives to research best growing practices for hemp including specialty research on pest management. Graduate students are able to gain firsthand experience with hemp plants cultivated at the university and with local Alabama hemp farmers.

Lead researcher: Dr. Michelle Samuel-Foo, Director of Specialty Crop Research

Led by: College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

University of Alabama

College of Arts and Sciences

As one of a handful of state universities conducting hemp research, The University of Alabama has focused its efforts on researching the cannabinoid content of hemp plants and best practices to breed the most efficacious genetics.

UA has also partnered with The Wemp Co. to conduct research on their 20-acre hemp farm led by Dr. Lukasz M. Ciesla, UA’s assistant professor of biological sciences.

Lead researcher: Dr. Lukasz M. Ciesla

Led by: College of Arts and Sciences

Allan Hancock College

Industrial Hemp Research Program

Allan Hancock College’s Industrial Hemp Research program was introduced by local farmers in the Santa Maria Valley based on the USDA’s requiring them to partner with a research institution.

The goal of the program is to provide these farmers with empirical data on the genetics and sex composition of plants. Led by Dr. Anjali Misra, students are able to apply their research techniques, better access internships, and collaborate with hemp production company, Biologix.

Lead researcher: Dr. Anjali Misra

Led by: Agriculture Department

Auburn University

Production Agriculture Research – E.V. Smith Research Center

Auburn University College of Agriculture’s first hemp research initiative was established in 2021 through the Production Agriculture Research (PAR) program which provides crucial grants funded by the USDA and Alabama Agricultural Experimentation Station. The study analyzes the effects of “​​two variety’s response to differing nitrogen treatments, as well as two varieties at different plant spacing.”

Lead researchers:

Joe Kemble, Department of Horticulture

Katelyn Kesheimer, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

Led by: College of Agriculture

California Poly Humboldt

Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HiiMR)

The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HiiMR) was established in 2012 at Cal Poly – Humboldt (formerly known as Humboldt State University). The HiiMR specializes in the intersection of public policy, science, and environmental studies within the fields of cannabis research.

Currently, Cal Poly Humboldt has ongoing research projects and publications all listed online.

Lead researcher: Dr. Dominic Corva and Dr. Whitney Ogle, Co-directors

Led by: College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

California State University – Dominguez Hills

South Bay Economics Institute (SBEI)
College of Business Administration and Public Policy (CBAPP)

Lead researcher: Rama Malladi, associate professor of finance at CSUDH

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley Cannabis Research Center (CRC)

The Cannabis Research Center is the University of California, Berkeley’s consortium of researchers dedicated to furthering studies on the impact of cannabis agriculture on socio-ecological systems. The CRC provides access to its comprehensive catalog of peer-reviewed research and research publications online.

Lead researcher: Eric Biber, CRC co-director

Led by:  Rausser College of Natural Resources

University of California, Davis

Cannabis and Hemp Research Center (CHRC)

University of California, Davis’ Cannabis and Hemp Research Center is one of the California powerhouses for cannabis & hemp research. In 2020, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control awarded UC-Davis five different approvals for over $3 million in research funding to study the intersection of cannabis and public health sciences, agriculture, and medicine among other disciplines.

Most recently, Clever Leaves Holdings Inc. and Biopharmaceutical Research Company have collaborated with UC Davis on a “joint partnership with the intent to study the DNA sequence variation of three Clever Leaves’ cannabis cultivars”.

Lead researcher: Cameron Carter and Li Tian, co-directors of the UC Davis CHRC

Led by: Office of Research

University of California, Irvine

UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis

Focused on the medical, legal, and cultural aspects of cannabis legalization, The UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis is working to provide key insights that improve our understanding of the long-term effects of cannabis use.

UCI’s Impact of Cannabinoids Across the Lifespan (ICAL) study is a prime example of an initiative centered on how cannabis affects the human brain based on when someone starts consuming cannabis.

Lead researcher: Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D., Director, UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis

University of California, Los Angeles

Cannabis Research Initiative (CRI)

UCLA’s Cannabis Research Initiative has been a frontrunner in creating research opportunities that analyze the chemical makeup of cannabis plants and the cannabinoids within them. Led by Dr. Ziva Cooper, UCLA was awarded over $6 million in research grants by the BCC to approve seven different studies.

Lead researcher: Ziva D Cooper, Ph.D., Director

Led by: Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

University of California, San Diego

Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR)

UC-San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) was established in 2000 making it one of the oldest of its kind. The UC Center for Medicinal Cannabis has successfully been balancing the need for a multidisciplinary approach to science and policy efforts in order to garner a holistic understanding of cannabis’ medical efficacy.

Lead researcher: Igor Grant, M.D, CMCR Director

University of California, San Francisco

Center for Medical Cannabis Research

Through various academic departments, UC-San Francisco conducts highly scientific studies that cover the community, health, and environmental effects of cannabis. UCSF was awarded the largest award of $2 million by the Bureau of Cannabis Control for its study on the “developmental effects of cannabis exposure on the immune, central nervous and peripheral nervous systems”.

Lead researcher: Jeffrey Sall, MD, PhD

Led by: UCSF Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education

University of Connecticut

CAHNR Cannabis Programs

University of Connecticut has numerous cannabis & hemp-based studies through their CAHNR Cannabis Programs which include but are not limited to the Hemp Initiative, Economics of Cannabis, and Molecular Genetics of Cannabis.

To date, UCONN has received more than $1 million in research funding from cannabis industry partners and federal entities.

Lead researcher: Gerald Berkowitz

Led by: College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources

Colorado State University – Pueblo

Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR)

Colorado State University-Pueblo founded the Institute of Cannabis Research in 2016 and is touted as “the nation’s first multi-disciplinary cannabis research center at a regional, comprehensive institution”. CSU-Pueblo hosts monthly webinars on the latest cultivation and research updates.

Lead researcher: Chad A Kinney Ph.D., Director of the ICR

Led by: Department of Chemistry


Cornell University

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences / School of Integrative Plant Science

Cornell CALS (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) is home to a “long-term breeding program for hemp” due to its status as New York’s only land grant institution. One of the key goals of Cornell’s Hemp Research Program is to discover which varieties of hemp are most compatible with New York’s climate. Take a virtual tour of Cornell Hemp Program’s Geneva, NY plant breeding facilities.

Lead researcher: Larry Smart, Professor, SIPS

Led by: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Florida A&M University

Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative

Florida A&M University has launched its Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) which provides a foundational online medical cannabis education course and virtual forums to inform the general public.

As an HBCU, FAMU’s MMERI is centered on equitable impact with the expressed purpose “to educate and inform Florida’s minority communities about medical marijuana and the potential consequence to health and well-being from recreational use”.

Oregon State University

Global Hemp Innovation Center

Composed of over 60 faculty members in 19 different disciplines, Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center is one of the largest hemp research centers in the nation. Historically, OSU was “the site of the country’s only hemp research center from the 1880s to the 1930s”.

In August, OSU will be partnering with CSU-Pueblo to host the 2022 Virtual Cannabis Research Conference.

Lead researcher: Jay Noller, Ph.D., Director

Led by: College of Agricultural Sciences

Rowan University

Institute for Cannabis Research, Policy, & Workforce Development (RPWD)

Rowan University’s Institute of Cannabis Research, Policy, & Workforce Development (RPWD) is a newly developed research department designed to educate healthcare professionals, policymakers, and businesses on the effects of cannabis legalization.

Scientific research on cannabis’ medicinal benefits is being conducted through the RPWD’s Center for Cannabinoid Science & Therapeutics at Cooper Medical School. Rowan has two additional cannabis research centers dedicated to workforce development and social sciences.

Lead researcher: James Grinias, Ph.D.

Led by: Center for Cannabinoid Science & Therapeutics, Center for Cannabis Workforce Development Social-Behavioral, Security and Law Enforcement Cannabis Center (SSLC)

Southern University

Southern Institute for Medicinal Plants (SIMP)
Cannabis Compliance, Law & Policy Institute

Southern University has two established cannabis research arms as part of its efforts to provide quality medicine and education in the state of Louisiana. The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center partnered with Ilera Holistic Healthcare, a licensed cannabis operator founded by Howard University’s former Director of S.T.E.M Education, Dr. Chanda Macias, to produce a compliant line of THC products.

The Law Center is dedicated to education and social impact initiatives through its Cannabis Compliance, Law & Policy Institute and partnership with the Cannabis Health Equity Movement (pronounced CHEM).

Lead researcher: Janana Snowden, Ph.D​​.

Led by: Southern University Law Center and Southern University  Agricultural Research and Extension Center

SUNY Morrisville

Four Seasons Organic Farm
Cannabis Research Plot

SUNY Morrisville operates its own Four Seasons Organic Farm that creates opportunities for students in the Speciality Crops & Production Certificate to gain hands-on experience working with hemp. Faculty have been conducting research via SUNY Morrisville’s Cannabis Research Plot where they are studying the sex of cannabis plants.

Lead researcher: Kelly Hennigan, Co-chair of the Animal and Plant Science and Agricultural Business Division

Led by: School of Agriculture, Business & Technology

Thomas Jefferson University

Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp

The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp at the Thomas Jefferson University has claims as the “first major health sciences university in the United States to provide a comprehensive academic resource for the medicinal application and business of cannabis and hemp”. The research center was founded by Barry Lambert, owner of Ananda Hemp, one of the leading US hemp producers.

Lead Researcher: Ruth Charbonneau, RN, JD, Associate Director

Type: Thomas Jefferson University – Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Troy University

Center for Materials and Manufacturing Science

Lead researcher: Dr. Govind Menon, Director of TROY’s School of Science and Technology

Led by: School of Science and Technology

University of Vermont

Medical Cannabis Center for Research and Education (MCCRE)

The University of Vermont conducts key research through its Medical Cannabis Center for Research and Education which equips clinicians, dispensary personnel, regulators, students, and professionals with the latest in cannabis education and research.

A major goal for UVM is “dispelling misinformation about the emerging field of cannabis studies with scientifically vetted research findings”. 

Lead researcher: Monique McHenry, Ph.D., MCCRE Director

Led by: The Robert Larner M.D. College of Medicine

William Paterson University

Cannabis Research Institute (CRI)

The Cannabis Research Institute at William Paterson University is a state-of-the-art program with a mission to advise regulators and inform the public on current clinical research and public health policies.

Lead researcher: Rahi Abouk, Ph.D., Director

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Nadir Pearson

Nadir is a dynamic cannabis leader and entrepreneur from the East Coast He is the founder of SMART (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency) a national college cannabis organization and co-founder of Hybrid Co. Nadir also serves as a project lead for Cannaclusive.

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This New Campaign Wants To Bust All The Weed Myths




Cannabis misinformation has been one of the main problems plaguing the drug since we learned of its existence. Now, a university in Canada is hoping to instruct younger demographics, who are at risk for cannabis misuse. The program hopes to debunk weed myths and help shape the future generation and their perceptions of weed.

This new project from Humber College, done in partnership with the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Canadian Public Health Association, is called “Weed Out Misinformation,” and was devised by the colleges’ cannabis researchers and students.

According to the project’s website, the campaign kicked off after conducting a survey on 1,600 Canadian consumers, who were asked how they acquired their cannabis information. According to The Star, researchers found that there were little options for young people who wanted to learn more about cannabis and that they distrusted public education efforts.

Cannabis Can Increase Odds Of This Condition In Teens Despite Infrequent Use
Photo by Yingchou Han via Unsplash

RELATED: Cannabis Use Does Not Result In Lazy Teens Or College Students, According To Studies

“Weed Out Misinformation” encourages honest conversations that prioritize science, removing the stigma attached to the drug. It’s geared towards consumers between the ages of 18 to 30 years old.

“From our initial research, we found that young people are feeling stigmatized, and they wanted access to reliable sources of information about cannabis,” said Daniel Bear, the study’s lead researcher and a professor in Humber’s faculty of social and community services. “For too long, the focus has been on potential harm to dissuade use, but that approach hasn’t reduced consumption and hasn’t kept consumers safe. This new campaign dispels myths and provides young cannabis consumers with a safe space in which the discussion of it feels normalized.”

Today’s young adults are growing up within a changed cannabis landscape; while the drug is more normalized and accepted than it was in the past, there’s still a lot of misinformation surrounding it, with there being few places that provide the answers people need in ways that are scientific, unbiased and trustworthy.

Smoking Marijuana
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RELATED: Cannabis Increases Odds Of This Disorder In Teens Despite Infrequent Use

In the case of young adults, these types of programs could be incredibly helpful, addressing the demographic that’s most at risk of experiencing the negative side effects of cannabis.

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This State’s Colleges Are Poised To Lead Marijuana Education In America




By Nicolas Jose Rodriguez

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) recently created a new license type that allows universities to purchase or produce their own cannabis for educational purposes. However, since cannabis is still federally illegal, and universities often depend on accepting federal funding, they’re hesitant to implement courses, degrees or certificates focused on marijuana.

MRA director Andrew Brisbo told MLive he’s been thinking about how the state agency can contribute to cannabis education.

A Look At Cannabis Education Offerings At America's Colleges
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The license allows schools to procure, grow, process, and study cannabis products, but needs to be approved by the DEA. Brisbo said the MRA is working with the federal agency on the potential registration of post-secondary schools as long as there is an underlying state license.

Brisbo explained that if that were the case, cannabis programs would allow students to touch plants, engage with products that are actually available in the market, and contribute to positioning Michigan as a leader in cannabis education.

“The reason academic institutions lean that way is to avoid some federal pushback related mostly to financial aid,” said Benjamin Southwell, assistant professor of Bio-Analytical Chemistry and Superior Analytics Manager at Lake Superior State University. “We don’t want to interfere with our students being able to receive grants and loans from the federal government.”

Meanwhile, a DEA spokesperson Brian McNeal said that any institution that wants to utilize cannabis for teaching activities needs to register with the DEA as an analytical laboratory.

Prof. Southwell noted that most of their programs work with cannabis that has THC concentrations below 3%, at least until the university can secure DEA permission, they’ll focus on hemp.

RELATED: A BA In MMJ? How American Universities Are Attracting New Students With Marijuana Degrees

“We have students who go to provisioning centers, gas stations, or wherever CBD is sold (…) We can buy those now and we’re doing that,” Southwell said.

Having access to products that are currently in the market is vital for scientific research.

A genetic study conducted by a team of researchers affiliated with the University of Northern California on “research-grade marijuana” samples provided by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse found that these cannabis samples were substantially different from most commercially available strains, reported NORML.

Medical Marijuana Research Act

In 2021, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers introduced a bill to remove barriers to conducting research on marijuana. The bill will allow scientists to access cannabis from state-legal dispensaries. The Medical Marijuana Research Act, filed by Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR] and Rep. Andy Harris [R-MD] would ease the process by which researchers apply for approval to study cannabis and it would place deadlines on federal agencies to consider the applications in a timely manner.

marijuana research
Photo by Aleksandr_Kravtsov/Getty Images

“This legislation would remove barriers for research into cannabis and facilitate access to an increased supply of higher quality medical-grade cannabis for research purposes,” said Blumenauer.

First DEA-Approved Company To Harvest Cannabis For Medical Research

In March 2022, the York County, PA-based Groff North America became the first company in the U.S. to introduce its cannabis crop for legal medical research. The news comes some 10 months after the DEA announced it will begin approving applications allowing some marijuana growers to become federally authorized to cultivate the plant for research purposes.

Up until now, only one cultivator — a farm functioning as part of the University of Mississippi — was the only legal source of cannabis for federal research. The university had obtained the license back in 1968, which made it the only source for research cannabis in the United States for over 50 years.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.


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