Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Kentucky Cannabis Center is to accelerate cannabinoid science and conduct high quality research that is relevant to the health and well-being of the citizens of Kentucky. The research agenda has been established by the Center’s advisory board, with the overarching goals of conducting and funding research, including controlled clinical studies, agriculture research pertaining to optimal growing conditions, examination of public health data and preclinical research on new and innovative applications. The Center aims to support faculty and trainees interested in conducting cannabinoid research to enhance the breadth of expertise at the University of Kentucky. The Center holds an annual symposium to present research findings and invites outside experts to report on cutting-edge, high impact research. Overall, the Center will continue to work with federal, state and local entities to advance research on the medical safety and efficacy of cannabinoids and will serve to help educate medical providers, legislators and citizens on the risks and benefits of the use of cannabis and cannabinoids.

Over the past year, the University of Kentucky Cannabis Center has achieved several key accomplishments:

Received $2.8 million federal NIH Grant

This grant will allow us to examine the effects of cannabis on outcomes related to opioid use disorder, including opioid withdrawal, response to high dose opioids and safety of opioid and cannabis combinations. Principal Investigator: Shanna Babalonis, PhD.

Awarded $380,000 in Research Funding to UK Faculty Researchers

The Cannabis Center reviewed pilot grants from UK faculty conducting cannabis science. Four faculty members were awarded pilot funds in the amount of $75,000 - $100,000 per award.

Established expert collaborations, clinical trial protocols

The Cannabis Center has partnered with the UK Markey Cancer Center and the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center to develop clinical trial protocols; collaborations with other universities and other expert teams at UK were also established and studies are underway.

Held a research symposium highlighting cannabis research

In collaboration with the UK Substance Use Priority Research Area, the Cannabis Center co-sponsored the Substance Use Research Event symposia - featuring a cannabis science track.

Advisory Board

UK President, Dr. Eli Capilouto appointed a team of 12 multidisciplinary MD and PhD faculty members to serve on the Advisory Board:

The Executive/Steering Committee is composed of six faculty members who serve as the Center’s core leadership. They work with thedirector to establish the Center’s research goals/agenda and make key financial decisions.

The Internal Advisory Committee is comprised of six faculty members that advise the director and the Executive/Steering Committee. Theyprovide feedback on the Center's progress and overall direction.

Meet our Board Members



Date Event Title Speaker
04/23/2024 Substance Use Research Event (SURE)