Message from the Director Dr. Carolyn J. Baglole
With legalization of cannabis in Canada approaching the one-year mark, there is still much we don’t know about cannabis- from the plant itself, to the full secondary metabolite profile, the spectrum of potential medical applications; health and safety issues surrounding emerging cannabis-based products, though the impact on the Canadian economy and legal policy. While there are many hotly-debated topics surrounding cannabis and its use, the legalization of cannabis in Canada has positioned our country to be leaders in establishing international precedents, research that as an academic community we should not shy away from but rather, use our collective expertise to conduct thorough, transparent and cutting edge research to fully understand the impact of cannabis legalization as well as its recreational and potential medicinal uses.
It is exciting to be part of the McGill University academic community that had committed itself to conducting cannabis-based research. It is though the creation of this McGill Research Centre for Cannabis that situates McGill as a trans-disciplinary Research Centre, whose members are literally going from plant-to-patient-to-society, as there is commitment from Departments/Faculties including (but not limited to) Medicine, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Law, Science, Education, Management; and the MUHC Research Institute (RI-MUHC). I am not aware of another institution with such a comprehensive “sandbox” of multi-disciplinary cannabis research collaboration under one unified banner.
The McGill Research Centre for Cannabis will therefore harmonize our efforts in understanding cannabis use in Canada and its effect on health and society. By uniting scientists with diverse expertise, this Centre will provide evidence-based information to members of the scientific community, government regulatory bodies, physicians, patients and the Canadian population, and aims to become the reference centre for the Quebec and Canadian governments for cannabis. This Centre brings together scientists with diverse, multi-disciplinary expertise on issues surrounding cannabis research incorporating plant science, production and processing; disease models/preclinical research, drug development and clinical trials; and social implications as well as health and economic impact studies for guidelines on policies and laws.