Letter from the Director:

The fourth year of the Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR) has been one of change from the start. Even as I am writing this introduction to the Institute’s Annual Report, Colorado, the nation, and world, are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other institutions and organizations, the pandemic has resulted in changes to plans and normal operations; yet, despite these external challenges, this year has still been one of growth and acceleration for the ICR.

With the passage of HB19-1311, one of the most significant changes to come to the ICR this year was the formation of a Governing Board. This Board was constituted in the fall with the first meeting in October of 2019. Among the responsibilities of the Board include budgetary oversight, helping to shape the mission and vision of the ICR, and review of new Cannabis Degree and Certificate programs at colleges and universities in the state. More information about the Governing Board and its members can be found in this report.

Each spring since the ICR was created in 2016, the Institute has hosted a research conference to provide a forum for researchers from around the globe to share the latest results from their wide-ranging cannabis research. This year, our conference was scheduled to occur April 4-6, before it had to be postponed. The conference was shaping up to be an exceptional event and was marked by a substantial increase in interest by presenters—with two internationally renowned keynote speakers, a strong number of registered attendees, and increased interest by exhibitors. We were poised to pilot a pre-conference program that included tours of local facilities, professional development opportunities, and social activities. COVID-19 had other plans for us and for the world; the ICR Conference 2020 has been rescheduled for August 11-12, 2020 and will be held in a virtual format.

At its heart, the ICR exists to facilitate cannabis research and the dissemination of research results. You will find a short description of the wide-ranging cannabis research supported this year as part of this annual report. I encourage you to explore the report in detail to see what type of research is in progress. Unfortunately, the global pandemic has had an impact here as well, with suspension of research activities due to the ongoing public health crisis. We are hopeful that conditions will improve to the point researchers can resume this important work soon. Other noteworthy activities from this year include the formation of the grassroots ICR Hemp Farmers Association and launch of the Journal of Cannabis Research. The first issue of the Journal was published in June of 2019 (after last year’s Annual Report had been published), but I am excited to report that under the leadership of the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. David Gorelick, and in partnership with Springer Nature Publishing, the number of cannabis research articles and interest in the Journal has grown dramatically. Though there have been many changes it has been a very robust and exciting year with so many activities, and only a few can be highlighted in this introduction.

I hope you will explore this past year of ICR within the pages of this report. And if you have questions, please never hesitate to contact us. The ICR is a simple email or phone call away.

Chad Kinney, Ph.D.

Director, Institute of Cannabis Research