First-ever Cannabis Specialty Issue of Clinical Therapeutics Features Massachusetts Policy and Research Experts
Cannabis Control Commission and Legislative thought leaders contribute to growing body of policy recommendations about cannabis and cannabinoid-derived therapies
WORCESTER— Today the Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) announced that the latest themed issue of Clinical Therapeutics, a journal which “provides peer-reviewed, rapid publication of recent developments in drug and other therapies,” was guest-edited by the agency’s Research Department and focuses on the intersection of cannabis research and regulation with a goal of highlighting opportunities for therapeutic uses for cannabis.
Published July 5 by Elsevier, the first-ever specialty cannabis issue “taps into the expertise of scientists and policymakers across the world and discusses critical opportunities of cannabis legalization to maximize benefits, minimize risks, and potentially lead to cannabis-based medicines for treatment of medical conditions that remain challenges for 21st century medicine,” such as chronic pain, spasticity, cancer, seizure disorders, nausea, anorexia, and infectious diseases, Elsevier said in their press release.
Julie K. Johnson, PhD, Director of Research, and Alexander Colby, Research Analyst, from the Commission’s Research Department served as guest editors for Clinical Therapeutics’ specialty update, which also features submissions from the Commonwealth’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy Co-Chair Daniel Donahue (D-Worcester), the agency’s Executive Director Shawn Collins, and members of the Cannabis Regulators Association.
“Irrespective of what side of the debate people are on, cannabis legalization and the increased interest in cannabis’ therapeutic use are growing worldwide,” said guest-editor Dr. Johnson. “To maximize benefits and minimize risks of legalization, it is imperative to expand cannabis research and bridge the silos between policy and science, to encourage stakeholders to work together to guide best practices.”
“Over the past five years, our agency has disseminated legislative reports and scientific manuscripts, and presented for peer agencies and academic institutions on the intersection of cannabis research and policy,” Executive Director Collins said. “This groundbreaking publication is one more way our state will add to the scientific literature and inform evidence-based marijuana policy decisions throughout the nation and the world.”
“This specialty issue of Clinical Therapeutics highlights important research on the impact of cannabis legalization taking place in Massachusetts,” said Chairman Donahue. “My office was proud to lend our own perspectives crafting cannabis policy to the journal and applauds the Cannabis Control Commission for taking the lead on editing this critical resource.”
Several key issues for researchers and regulators were discussed throughout the specialty issue, including:
- Endocannabinoid system and potential for therapeutic use;
- Preserving existing medical cannabis programs in the era of recreational use policies;
- Prescribing guidance to inform clinical decision-making around medical cannabis;
- Adolescent cannabis use and neurodevelopment;
- Veterans’ health and cannabis use;
- Cannabis ‘social clubs’ and the future of social consumption;
- And War on Drugs and social equity implications in legalization.
All findings represent the independent work of individual authors and do not represent policy endorsements from the Commission.
The Commission’s Research Department has focused on merging academia and policy by bringing diverse stakeholders together and publishing for a variety of audiences to advance cannabis policy research. The agency’s robust legislative research agenda, outlined in St. 2017, c. 55, § 30(f) and St. 2017, c. 55, § 62, was established to both understand and monitor the social and economic trends of cannabis use in Massachusetts and inform future decisions that aid in the closure of the illicit marketplace. To learn more about how the Commission has executed its state’s research mandate, visit MassCannabisControl.com/Research. Commission reports are also available for the public’s review at MassCannabisControl.com/PublicDocuments/Reports.
About Clinical Therapeutics
Clinical Therapeutics provides peer-reviewed, rapid publication of recent developments in drug and other therapies as well as in pharmacoeconomics, health policy, treatment outcomes, and innovations in drug and biologics research. In addition to feature articles published monthly, each issue of Clinical Therapeutics features a specific theme section dedicated to an annual update of a specific topic area. A special guest editor will comprise each update with reviews, commentaries, and original research highlighting what’s new or controversial in the topical specialty. Clinical Therapeutics is read by a large international audience of scientists and clinicians in a variety of research, academic, and clinical practice settings. Articles are indexed by all major biomedical abstracting databases. www.clinicaltherapeutics.com
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