The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) on November 19, 2018, issued the state’s first license to produce, process, and possess marijuana for research purposes. The license was issued to Verda Bio Research in Seattle, which is conducting research on cannabinoid-based therapeutics.
“This is an important milestone for Washington’s marijuana industry,” said Director Rick Garza. “We’re hopeful that the research will assist policy makers as we grapple with this emerging industry.”
Research licensees are permitted to produce, process, and possess marijuana for limited research purposes: to test chemical potency and composition levels; to conduct clinical investigations of marijuana-derived drug products; to conduct research on the efficacy and safety of administering marijuana as part of medical treatment; and to conduct genomic or agricultural research. Applicants are investigated and must meet the same criteria as other marijuana businesses including security, distance from restricted areas, traceability, etc.
In addition to the above requirements applications are also vetted through an independent third party scientific reviewer. The role of the reviewer is to assess the project’s quality, study design, value, and/or impact. They also review whether applicants have the appropriate personnel, expertise, facilities/infrastructure, funding, and human/animal/other federal approvals in place to successfully conduct the project.
Research projects must pass both the scientific review and licensing requirements before the application is approved.