Our Mission

 The role and mission of the institute is to conduct research related to cannabis, including clinical research, biotechnologies, clinical studies, the efficacies of medical marijuana, and economic development associated with cannabis in Colorado, and to publicly disseminate the results of the research.

Our History

The ICR began at Colorado State University Pueblo in 2015 in response to the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis use in Colorado. As the scene was rapidly emerging, our leaders saw a need to provide the citizenry of Colorado with scientific facts related to a wide- range of cannabis topics.

Collaboration between leaders in Pueblo-County government, local business, and CSU Pueblo faculty and administration resulted in Pueblo County funding cannabis research at CSU-Pueblo. CSU-Pueblo then advanced this to the state of Colorado, which provided for additional research funding in its annual budget, and the Institute of Cannabis Research at CSU Pueblo was born. In 2019, House Bill 19-1311 was passed, making the ICR the official Cannabis Research Institute of the State of Colorado with oversight by a state-appointed Governing Board. State funding is allocated from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund through the Colorado Department of Higher Education to support the ICR.

ICR Governing Board

The ICR has a Governing Board that is Appointed by the Governor of Colorado

The Board was created through HB19-1311 and includes The Chancellor of the Colorado State University system or designee, the Executive Director of the Colorado Commission on Higher education or designee, the President of the University of Colorado or designee, The Executive Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment or designee, three scientists from relevant fields who have been employed at appropriate research-oriented institutions, and four members associated with cannabis-related industries within Colorado.
The board is tasked with overseeing and guiding the role and mission of the institute, directing the expenditures of funds, and advising any Colorado institution of higher education that seeks to develop a cannabis-specific curriculum. Additionally, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education is required to seek input from the governing board before approving any cannabis-related degrees or certifications.

The ICR Governing Board

Dr. Joanna Zeiger, MS, PhD

  • Founder and CEO, Canna Research Foundation
  • Serves as a scientist from a relevant field
  • Boulder, Colorado

Dr. Malik Muhammad Hasan, MD

  • Founder/CEO of NuVue Pharma
  • Founder/CEO of Rocky Mountain Biotech
  • Serves as a member associated with cannabis-related industries

Sherard Marshon Rogers

  • Serves as a member associated with cannabis-related industries
  • Denver, Colorado


  • Applications for an Industry Representative can be found at the Colorado Boards and Commissions
  • https://www.colorado.gov/governor/boards-commissions-application

Dr. L. Cinnamon Bidwell, PhD

  • Associate Professor and Co-Director CUChange, Institute of Cognitive Science, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. John Harloe, JD, PhD

  • Serves as scientist from relevant field
  • General Counsel, Balanced Health Botanicals
  • Englewood, Colorado

President Armando Valdez

  • Designee of the Chancellor of the CSU System
  • President of Colorado State University Pueblo
  • Pueblo, Colorado

Melissa Reynolds, PhD

  • Serves as scientist from a relevant field
  • Professor of Chemistry
  • Associate Dean for Research, College of Natural Science, CSU
  • Ft. Collins, Colorado

Scott McWhorter

  • Designee of the Executive Director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education
  • CEO Rocky Mountain Extraction Services
  • Windsor, Colorado

Dr. Jon Reuter, DVM, MPVM, DACLAM

  • Designee of the President of the University of Colorado
  • Associate Vice-Chancellor of Research Integrity & Compliance University of Colorado Boulder
  • Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Elyse Contreras, MPH

  • Designee of the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
  • Manager and Senior Epidemiologist, Marijuana Health Monitoring & Research Grants Section

Our Team

Chad Kinney, PhD

  • Director of the Institute of Cannabis Research
  • Professor of Chemistry

Dushunte Carmon

  • Grants Manager and Program Officer

Wendy Fairchild

  • Program Assistant

Sang Hyuck Park, PhD

  • ICR Senior Scientist / Research Liaison

Jeff Smith, PhD

  • Strategic Partnership and Outreach Specialist
  • CSU Pueblo Professor of Biology

John Williamson, PhD

  • Senior Director of Research