The University of California at Berkeley has announced the creation of a research center that will study the effects of the cannabis industry on the state. The new center will analyze the impact that cannabis production has on the environment and society, including communities that grow cannabis. The policies and regulations enacted to control those impacts will also be studied.
The Cannabis Research Center will be led by co-directors Van Butsic and Ted Grantham of the UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Grantham told campus media that California’s evolving cannabis policy should be guided by science.
“This is a rapidly changing industry, and no one really knows where it is headed,” Grantham said. “Everyone is playing catch up to a certain extent, and we believe researchers have an important role in bringing independent scientific information to conversations around cannabis policy.”
Butsic noted that the transition to legal cultivation of recreational cannabis in California has been fraught with challenges.
“We’re about a year into the formal legalization of recreational cannabis production and it has been a rocky start,” Butsic said. “There have been fewer participants in the market — producers — than were anticipated. Some growers appear to have gone