Colorado’s Health Department has $2.4 million to put toward studies about marijuana use, and now it is looking for researchers to help spend it.
The department on Thursday began accepting grant applications for its Retail Marijuana Health Monitoring Program. The department already has a historic research program to fund studies on medical marijuana. The new grants, funded by the legislature this spring, will go toward studies about the health effects of marijuana use more generally across the state post-legalization. Money for the grants comes from marijuana taxes.
Among the areas the department is particularly interested in:
- The health effects, both on mother and child, of marijuana use by pregnant women.
- The factors that contribute to teens’ decisions to use marijuana.
- The mental and physical health effects of increasing THC potency.
- The differences in health outcomes between heavy and less frequent marijuana consumers.
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In the rules for grant applicants, the health department says a proposed study’s principle researcher must have, “a demonstrated record of successful grant-funded research or data analysis.” In the past, the state has awarded its medical marijuana research grants to scientists connected to hospitals or universities. For-profit entities are not allowed to apply for the new round of grants, though they can partner with a non-profit in applying.
The department plans to award two types of grants, according to a news release about the program. Full research grants will provide up to $300,000 per year for three years for longer-term studies that gather original data. Smaller “pilot grants” will pay up to $100,000 per year for two years.
Preliminary applications are due by July 22. Those researchers whose ideas make the cut will then be asked to submit full applications by Sept. 30. The grants will likely be awarded in November.
More information on the grants can be found at www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/researchers.