ACHI and U of Arkansas Awarded $1.3M in Funding to Study Medical Marijuana Use

The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have been awarded a $1.3 million research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institute of Health.

This money will go towards the study of medical marijuana utilization in Arkansas. This research is coined the “Population-Based Analyses of Healthcare Utilization and Outcomes in Users of Medical Marijuana” and will be a first-of-its-kind population health analysis of the medical marijuana program. They are focused on analyzing consumer purchase information with insurance claims records to understand the impacts on their medical care. It will also factor in the impact of COVID-19 on the Arkansas medical marijuana program. 

With this type of quantitative research, scientists will be able to evaluate how effective cannabis is for therapeutic use. They are specifically looking to expand the body of knowledge on the dose, strain, potency, and method of use and their impact on a person’s health experience. 

The study will integrate 6 Arkansas-based data sources to form a dynamic tool to bring greater understanding and transparency in the healthcare data field. We are seeing state policies surrounding both medicinal and recreational use of cannabis changing rapidly in the United States. With Arkansas being one of 36 states with a form of legalized marijuana, they have more than 79,000 active medical marijuana ID cardholders to begin their research on. This will help them better inform the potential role of marijuana in medical therapy.

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