Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) announced July 21 the winning bidders for $20 million in annual funding available through the state’s Veteran Marijuana Research (VMR) grant program.
Wayne State University, a four-year public research institution in Detroit, was awarded the full amount requested for both of its proposals: roughly $9 million and $3.5 million. While the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, was award nearly $7.5 million of the $12 million it requested, according to CRA.
The funding will go toward clinical trials in treating the medical conditions of U.S. armed services veterans and preventing veteran suicide. The trials must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and sponsored by a nonprofit organization within an academic institution researching the efficacy of using cannabis as an alternative treatment for veterans.
The annual funding for the clinical trials was set forth in the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, the adult-use legalization initiative passed by voters in November 2018, which created a Marijuana Regulation fund in the state treasury that CRA officials are required to draw from to award the grants.
CRA officials received five proposals totaling more than $37 million for this year’s grants. When determining the amount to be award to each organization, a Joint Evaluation Committee (JEC) considered four main factors:
- experience and financial stability of the organization;
- the applicant’s work plan;
- applicant’s management summary; and
- applicant’s budget and budget narrative.
The JEC included voting members Andrew Brisbo, executive director of CRA/Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA); Robert Near, the deputy director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency; and Catherine Reid, the medical adviser for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ State Hospital Administration.
The JEC scoring summaries for the five bidders can be viewed here.