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UBC researcher gets $1-million grant to study link between pot, HIV/AIDS

Jun. 08, 2015 - A University of B.C. researcher who recently found that daily pot use might help fight HIV/AIDS is getting a $1-million grant from a commercial cannabis grower, which could lead to more clinical evidence for doctors skeptical of a drug still outlawed in Canada.

National Green BioMed, a Richmond-based company partly owned by former Liberal MP Herb Dhaliwal, has already provided $200,000. It has committed to paying the full million dollars over five years, even if it fails to secure a licence from Health Canada to grow marijuana at its Fraser Valley facility.

Mr. Dhaliwal said a team led by M. J. Milloy, an infectious-disease epidemiologist with the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, will have “all the freedom in the world” to conduct research that meets the “highest ethical standards” into the possible therapeutic benefits

While doctors can prescribe pot, there is a dearth of clinical evidence on the efficacy of the plant’s touted benefits and many simply don’t know enough about the drug to recommend it to patients. This is complicated by Health Canada refusing to approve marijuana as a drug or medicine, but being compelled to regulate it by the courts, which have ruled that Canadians must have reasonable access to medical cannabis.

Read Full Article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/ubc-researcher-gets-1-million-grant-to-study-link-between-pot-hivaids/article24839207/

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