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New medicinal marijuana research centre opening in Hamilton

A new research centre in Hamilton seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating various conditions.
A new research centre in Hamilton seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating various conditions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ron Ward

McMaster University and Hamilton’s St. Joseph’s Healthcare are teaming up to study the effectiveness of medicinal marijuana at a new research centre.

“Medicinal cannabis use is skyrocketing in Canada and the number of possible conditions keeps rising, but the state of the evidence is often quite poor,” James MacKillop, professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at McMaster and co-director of the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research, said in a news release.

“There is an urgent need for rigorous, objective, multidisciplinary research on medicinal cannabis. That need was the impetus for creating this centre,” he added.

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The release says the leadership team, working with more than 25 researchers, seeks to understand the use of medicinal cannabis in managing pain, and other clinical indications, as well as its potential for addiction and other adverse events.

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“One of the lessons learned from the current opioid crisis is that we need good research to clearly identify the appropriate use of medicinal cannabis and to limit potential harm,” the centre’s medical adviser, Dr. Ramesh Zacharias said.

The Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research is funded by the Michael G. DeGroote Initiative for Innovation in Healthcare, with contributions from philanthropists Michael G. DeGroote and the Boris family of Hamilton.

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