In his regular column in the November-December issue of the Healthcare Journal of Arkansas, ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson discusses plans for a first-of-its-kind medical marijuana study to be conducted by researchers with ACHI and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
The project will be supported by a $1.3 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers will review consumers’ cannabis purchase information, insurance claims records, and other data to study Arkansans’ experiences, positive and negative, with medical marijuana. The project will also examine how Arkansas’ medical marijuana program has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid crisis.
“This project will contribute to the knowledge of societal impact of medical marijuana, elucidate its benefits and adverse outcomes, and help to inform federal and state policy decisions, clinical therapeutic strategies, and insurance coverage decisions,” Thompson writes. “This is an exciting opportunity, not just for ACHI and UAMS but for our state and the country.”