With a $3 million grant from Australian philanthropists Barry and Joy Lambert, Thomas Jefferson University has established a new medical center for cannabis education and research. The new facility, officially named The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp, will become the first such medical research center in the United States, according to information released by the university.
The donation comes at a pivotal time for the national cannabis industry in the US with President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominations and what that means for states cannabis laws. A total of 28 states and the District of Columbia have approved medical cannabis. That number includes four of the five most populous states: California, Florida, Illinois and New York.
“We are extremely grateful to the Lamberts for the bold and visionary gift, which will have an immediate impact on our research and education efforts,” Charles Pollack Jr., Director of the University’s Institute of Emerging Health Professions, said in a prepared statement.
Founded in 1824, Thomas Jefferson University is a private school with just under 2,000 students (844 of whom are postgraduate students) located in the Washington Square area of Philadelphia. The school focuses on the health sciences, including biomedical science, nursing, pharmacy and population health.
The money donated will support research into the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis and a range of cannabinoids derived from cannabis. The Lambert Center also will research potential health benefits of hemp, a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant that has been used for paper, textiles, cords and ropes for centuries – as an additional source for medicinal cannabinoids.
The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp, in the Institute of Emerging Health Professions at Thomas Jefferson University will focus on three major areas of study that could impact the entire marijuana industry.