As the legalization of cannabis spreads across the Unites States and legal states such as Illinois expand its industry, cannabis continues to shed the stigma that once saddled the plant. The best example of this might be accredited higher education’s new willingness for acceptance, inclusion, and involvement with cannabis in its curriculum.
Universities and colleges across the Unites States have welcomed “cannabis studies” as part of agriculture and other academic departments. Illinois has been no different. Many Illinois universities and junior colleges have been adopting curriculum for cannabis courses, especially for certifications. Southern Illinois University Carbondale is one of those institutions.
SIUC has been at the forefront with its newly formed Southern Illinois Cannabis Science Center. The Cannabis Science Center, according to its website, brings together a collaborative network of biomedical scientists, health care providers, agricultural economists, plant biologists, and analytical experts with the common goal of advancing the science and medicine of cannabis. Central to the mission is community involvement, to provide a clearinghouse for hemp and cannabis related knowledge and expertise synergizing with the strengths of the university.
The Cannabis Science Center faculty now numbers more than 16 and has its primary academic appointments in the School of Medicine, Rehabilitation Institute, College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences, School of Agriculture Science, School of Biological Science and Center for Rural Health and Social Services. Dr. Jose Franco Da Chunha Leme, whose research expertise encompasses cannabis biology and cropping systems, helps lead the Cannabis Science Center.
The mission of the Cannabis Science Center is
- To formally establish a collaborative network for cannabis research.
- To establish specific projects with defined goals.
- To identify funding streams to support these projects.
- Clearinghouse for hemp and cannabis related information.
- Host symposium and outreach activities.
- To bring into working groups individuals with a common interest in cannabis: Agricultural; Analytical; Biomedical, and Community.
- Bringing together Healthcare, Educational and Commercial interests.
To help amplify its mission, the Center created the Canna Dawgs Newsletter. The newsletter features faculty, alumni, students, community businesses, and more.
The Center also hosts the annual SIU Hemp/Cannabis Symposium. The Center is scheduled to host its 2nd SIU Hemp/Cannabis Symposium March 26 on the Carbondale campus. Check our Events Page for more future information.
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