If there's a theme that permeates throughout the science and medicine communities when it comes to a wish list for 2019, it's more funding. As we embark upon another year of cannabis exploration, Weedmaps News asked three of our science and medicine subject matter experts what they'd like to see happen in the industry in the upcoming year.
Bonni Goldstein, M.D.
Medical Director of Canna-Centers Wellness and Education
Dr. Bonni Goldstein has been helping patients find relief with cannabis through her patient-centered clinic, Canna-Centers Wellness and Education, located in Los Angeles, California. Goldstein is also the author of “Cannabis Revealed,” which explores the various applications of cannabis for medical purposes.
Her wish list includes:
- That politicians come to understand that dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system is scientifically proven as the root cause of many illnesses and, as a result, will see that access to cannabis medicine is a right that should not be politicized.
- That because politicians understand access to cannabis medicine is a right, taxation of medical cannabis patients will be abolished. We do not pay taxes on our other prescribed medicines.
- That cannabis and cannabinoids be descheduled, allowing for desperately needed research as well as medical access for all Americans.
Itzhak Kurek, Ph.D.
CEO and Co-Founder of Cannformatics
Itzhak Kurek has a Ph.D. in plant biochemistry and molecular biology from Israel's Tel Aviv University, and has published more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and patent applications. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of Cannformatics, a bioinformatics platform that uses saliva biomarkers to help patients find what products and dosages are likely to work with their bodies. Weedmaps News has published three installments of his “How Cannabinoids Work” series: Part I — Paths into the Body; Part II — Paths through the Body; and Part III — Metabolism and Elimination.
His wish list includes:
- Federal funding and legal access for U.S. academia to study the wide range of existing medical cannabis strains. "Until we have significant U.S. government funding for academic research, we won't have knowledge relevant to the extremely diverse U.S. cannabis market. U.S. government funding also creates the opportunity for collaboration between researchers based in the United States and researchers in foreign countries who currently have greater knowledge, such as Israel and [the Netherlands]."
- More integration of existing pharmaceutical technologies into medical cannabis products. For example, protective coatings can be used to increase bioavailability.
- Application of the personalized medicine approach to medical cannabis, tailoring products, strains and dosage to each individual with a medical condition. This will improve efficacy and reduce side effects, and give doctors tools to prescribe medical cannabis and both inpatient and outpatient environments.
- Investment by leading Biotech Venture Capital firms, because venture capital money is needed to scale up proven concepts into products, and make them mainstream.”
Adie Wilson-Poe, Ph.D.
Neuroscientist, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Habu Health
Adie Wilson-Poe, Ph.D., is an instructor at Washington University in St. Louis currently researching the neurological interactions between cannabis and pain receptors in the body. She is also the co-founder and chief scientific officer for Habu Health and an adviser to Weedmaps.
Her wish list includes:
- A flood of National Institutes of Health (NIH) money devoted to cannabis' role in the opioid crisis. “In April, the NIH launched the HEAL Initiative. This type of funding opportunity only comes around once in a generation. The last time we saw an influx of funding like this from the NIH was at the height of the HIV epidemic. My hope would be that a significant portion of this funding would go toward specifically funding studies that examine cannabis as a first-line analgesic, and opioid alternative.”