With their recent move into Africa, Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX.WEED) (NGSE. CGC) is now building a brand on five continents, strengthening their foothold as one of the top pot stocks in the cannabis industry. Coupled with their listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the move into Africa has helped to solidify their position as Canada’s top Licensed Producer. Now, the company is taking that success, and moving forward with a bold public relations move aimed at bringing a little goodwill to the company.
Canopy Growth Invests In Cannabis Education
Canopy Growth announced Thursday that they would contribute CAD$2.5 million to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to fund a Professorship in Cannabis Science. The Professorship, co-funded by the British Columbia Centre for Substance Abuse, will research marijuana’s effect on North America’s opioid crisis.
Some studies show that there may be a relationship between marijuana legalization and a drop in opioid-related deaths. For example, in America, some states with regulations on the production and distribution of marijuana saw a decrease in overdose deaths from prescription drugs. Opiate users buying drugs on the black market might also benefit from cannabis legalization, some studies have shown. However, those same studies do caution that cannabis may not be the ultimate solution to opioid-use disorder and that more research is needed.
“This is a sign that medical marijuana, by itself, will not be the solution to the nation’s opioid crisis today,” said Rosalie Pacula, co-author of one such study and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research center.
Canopy Growth’s investment marks the first professorship in the country to address this correlation. The Canopy Growth Cannabis Science Endowment funds a two-year professorship at UBC which will provide consistent research and quantifiable statistics for cannabis’ treatment of opiate addiction.
“To me, the cannabis industry has always been about using profits to give back, and to take care of your community,” Hilary Black, Canopy Growth’s Director of Patient Education and Advocacy, said in an interview with Vancouver newspaper The Star. “I get to use [Canopy Growth’s] resources for social responsibility in the communities that we’re operating in.”
British Columbia declared the opiate crises a public health emergency last year when 4,000 Canadians died from an overdose. The professorship will be vital to understanding the relationship between marijuana and those who are suffering from a substance-use disorder.
“Here in British Columbia we feel a responsibility to make investments that matter to this community,” Mark Zekulin, President of Canopy Growth Corporation, said in a statement on Wednesday. “With Vancouver on the frontlines of the overdose crisis, the Canopy Growth Cannabis Science Endowment Fund is an important first step in improving the lives of those affected and creating a legacy of medical cannabis research in Canada that can be used around the world.”
The contribution is what the company calls an “arms-length” donation, meaning that Canopy Growth will not control the research. It is considered to be purely philanthropic and for the sake of authentic research that is wholly independent of any corporate influence.
More Research On The Horizon
The research does not stop there, either. Canopy Growth partnered with Molecular Science Corp. last Thursday to combine efforts with cannabis testing. The two companies will examine new testing methods, terpene profiling, and regulatory tests for pesticides and mycotoxins as per the standards set by Health Canada.
The collaboration is focused on helping medical marijuana patients make the most informed decisions possible when it comes to cannabis use. According to a statement, Canopy Growth wishes to provide more product knowledge and awareness as “part of the responsible development of the Canadian cannabis industry.”
Canopy’s President Mark Zekulin stated that trust is key to success in the cannabis industry, with research essential to building that trust. “We're working to make testing practices faster and more consistent while driving enhanced accountability as well as visibility into the cannabis supply,” Zekulin said on Thursday.
*Photo Credit: University of British Columbia