JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has launched a marijuana research center in a bid to take a leading role in the burgeoning field.
The Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research, announced by the university on Wednesday, will be staffed by leading scientists and doctors, including the Israeli chemistry professor considered the father of cannabis research.
“There is so much interest in cannabis at the moment, but a lot remains unknown about its mechanism of action,” Dr. Joseph Tam, the director of the center, told JTA. “My belief is that our multidisciplinary center will lead global research and answer these questions.”
Tam said that no other center in the world has such a broad approach to cannabis research, from agriculture to chemistry, from drug delivery to pharmacology and to chemical development. In addition to bringing together the 27 cannabis researchers at Hebrew University and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, the center will draw on other specialists on campus.
Israel is known as a pioneer in cannabis research, which was long hindered worldwide by drug laws and social taboo.