In his 2014 budget proposal Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is calling for over $7 million in funding for “legitimate” studies examining the medical benefits of cannabis. Under the proposal, grants sized between $500,000 and $1 million would be distributed to universities, research hospitals, foundations and so forth, in order to study cannabis’ effect on conditions such as epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder..
“The impetus is that we have about $13 million in the Medical Marijuana [Program] Cash Fund, and it needs to be used for purposes that relate to the people who paid for their medical-marijuana cards,” says Henry Sobanet, Director of the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting. “And the impetus really was that now there appears to be ways where legitimate research can be conducted on the use of cannabis or marijuana for medical purposes.”
If the state’s legislature approves this portion of the budget, the program – which consists of a full time administrator to oversee grant distribution – will begin in July of next year.