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Arizona health department seeks info, cost estimates for marijuana clinical trials

The Arizona Department of Health Services wants to know who has the desire and credentials to do human studies on whether marijuana can treat health conditions such as autism.

The agency is also asking researchers to estimate their yearly cost to do clinical trials.

The callout is a step toward issuing competitive grants — potentially worth $25 million over five years — to pay for marijuana clinical trials.

Priority review will eventually go to human studies that would focus on conditions such as epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and pain.

Dr. Tally Largent-Milnes, assistant professor of pharmacology at the University of Arizona, wants to someday learn if cannabis can treat migraines.   

“But until we are able to run these clinical trials in a well-thought out manner, we’re never going to know the answer,” she said.

Arizona-based researchers at nonprofits and universities are eligible to seek marijuana study grants, if they have approval from the Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration, and their work is publishable in medical journals.   

News Science
Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.