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420 with CNW — New VA Website Seeks to Normalize Conversations Around Marijuana Research

A new website is being launched by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (“VA”) with the aim of normalizing conversations around cannabis research. The department’s Portland Branch is partnering with Oregon Health & Science University (“OHSU”) to support healthcare service providers with the latest research on marijuana.

Many VA doctors are reluctant to talk to their patients about the use of cannabis for treatment because of the drug’s federal prohibition: federal law allows VA doctors to talk to their patients about cannabis, but they are not allowed to offer any recommendations. Together with the university’s Center for Evidence-based Policy, the Portland branch launched the Systematically Testing the Evidence on Marijuana (“STEM”) initiative last month. The STEM website would address doctors’ concerns by familiarizing them with marijuana’s health effects.

OHSU professor Devan Kansagara said the reason why providers cannot make recommendations about treatment is because of a lack of evidence of the health effects as well as a lack of understanding of the terminology and functional issues of cannabis. Through a press release, the professor who is also a staff physician, said that the site would make it normal for providers to discuss cannabis with their patients the same way they talk about alcohol use.

The site will contain published information around cannabis studies, including those whose research is currently ongoing; the site will also provide additional resources for the health practitioners. These resources include “living reviews” when cannabis is used for chronic pain, PTSD and interventions for cannabis use disorder as well as information on clinical trials, policies and specific related news. The website has already featured one study that indicates the effectiveness of cannabis compounds in preventing COVID-19 infections.

The content on the STEM website targets health-care workers and does not take any stance on the integration of cannabis into treatment. In its future developments, the website looks to include content tailored to patients as well.

The Department of Veteran Affairs has had a long history of resisting legislation from Congress that seeks to promote marijuana research for veterans. Department officials argue that some of the proposals are redundant and prescriptive. However, this might change through proposals that call for modest reforms.

A VA researcher recognized in December that marijuana helps people who suffer from PTSD experience lesser symptoms and  a quicker recovery. In September, another official said that the agency was monitoring research on the benefits of psychedelics for military veterans suffering from PTSD.

VA Secretary Denis McDonogh talked of an internal policy during a Q&A session on Veterans Day. He made the revelations after hearing stories from veterans who had found relief in the treatment. The secretary has said that he is in discussions on the matter with the Department of Justice as well as the White House.

The fact that agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs are beginning to warm up to the therapeutic potential of cannabis bodes well for the future of sector players such as American Cannabis Partners because federal prohibition may end much sooner than previously thought.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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