A red brick building on the New Brunswick University campus.

Janayna Velozo

Canada’s University of New Brunswick has announced that it is creating a Health Research Chair in Cannabis which will help expand the university’s commitment to innovation and research in the natural products, biomedical, and health and life sciences fields, according to a press release. The chair will receive $1 million in funding from New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc., at $500,000 each over five years.

The announcement follows the creation of the Health Research Chair in Cannabis at St. Thomas University in May, which was also given $1 million in funding from the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and Shoppers Drug Mart, at $500,000 each.

Dr. David MaGee, University of New Brunswick acting vice-president of research, called the chair’s creation “a key example of the university’s commitment to discovery.”

“We believe in the power of research to advance innovation within New Brunswick,” he said in the release. “With 75 percent of the province’s publicly funded research taking place at UNB, we’re thrilled to play a central role.”

The recruitment and nomination process for the tenure-track faculty member position is expected to begin immediately, while the funding will be in place beginning in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Dr. Bruno Battistini, president, CEO, and scientific director for New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, said the two chairs “clearly signifies New Brunswick’s intention to be at the forefront of cannabis research.”

“This competitive chair will further develop the science toward implementing proven and safe innovative cannabis-based therapies for the chronic treatment of various disorders (chronic pain, PTSD, etc.),” he said in a statement.

Potential areas of research include the medicinal and biochemistry analysis of cannabis, preclinical pharmacology studies, and a review of the existing cannabis literature in an effort to identify future research needs and inconsistencies.     

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