Pueblo County Colorado officials have agreed to provide $270,000 in funding to Colorado State University-Pueblo to conduct research on marijuana, ABC 7 reports. The studies will be the first of their kind by a four-year, regional comprehensive university.

The research aims to determine the impact of marijuana on the community and viability of using medical cannabis therapies for treating various issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Researchers could also take a look at the impact on energy and water consumption used when growing marijuana and the costs to the community in regulating the industry versus the money communities see from the legal cannabis industry.

“These studies not only have local interest but statewide and federal interest,” CSU-Pueblo Provost Rick Kreminski said in the report. “It’s an area that has been understudied, and I am appreciative of the taxpayers’ decision to use marijuana tax revenue for this purpose.”

In addition to the funds from the county, the university will also be awarded $900,000 from the state’s Marijuana Tax Cash Fund after Governor John Hickenlooper (D) signed Senate Bill 191 last week. The measure appropriates funds from the marijuana tax coffers for the university to use for marijuana research.

“In the cannabis industry, I think the lowest rung of economic opportunity lies in the store fronts and retail sales. On the next rung is cultivation because it’s a job creator and it’s generating money for the community through exports and taxes. The third rung is the intellectual property that could come out of these studies. I see this type of bio-medical research as the top rung of economic opportunities that have ever been a reality for Pueblo,” Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace said in a statement. “A patent could make this community and the state a lot of money.”  

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