Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED; NYSE: CGC) is teaming up with the University Of British Columbia to study the potential effects of cannabis on combating the opioid crisis.

The University just established a new professorship, to be named the Canopy Growth Professor of Cannabis Science, which will have a focus on clinical trials for using marijuana to treat pain over addictive opioid-based medicine.

Canopy Growth provided $2.5 million in funding to the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use and the University Of British Columbia and the provincial government contributed an additional $500,000.

According to a press release from Canopy, more than 1,100 deaths in British Columbia during 2018 can be attributed to the opioid crisis.

Dr. M-J Milloy will take on the role of the first Canopy Growth Professor of Cannabis Science, with research to commence on lowering the number of opioid overdose deaths through cannabis usage.

Dr. Milloy commented: “The therapeutic benefits of cannabis are only just beginning to be understood. Early research has shown that it could have a stabilizing impact for people with opioid use disorder, improving their quality of life and offering a pathway to long-term treatment solutions.”

The new Professor of Cannabis Science went on to say, “In the midst of an overdose crisis, we have a scientific imperative to build upon this research. I’m grateful for the support from Canopy Growth and the Province of BC, and their commitment towards investing in evidence-based solutions to this urgent health crisis.”

Dr. Dermot Kelleher the Dean, Faculty of Medicine at UBC, also commented:

“The opioid overdose crisis demands holistic and scientific approaches in order to develop new knowledge and strategies in response to this urgent health issue facing our society. The new Canopy Growth Professor of Cannabis Science at UBC promises to generate much-needed evidence-based solutions that will improve the health and well-being of British Columbians.”

Canopy Growth subsidiary Spectrum Cannabis also just inked a deal with Reformulary Group last week to provide insurance-covered marijuana products.

While the Cannabis Act legalized marijuana for recreational purposes in Canada last month, the law’s loosening restrictions have seen a sharp rise in medical marijuana research.

Aphria Inc. (TSX: APH) recently recruited a new Director Of Research to engage in clinical studies of cannabis, while Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON & TSX: CRON) last month announced a new research agreement to study the effects of cannabis on skin care.

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