CCORC joins experts in advancing medical marijuana research

The 2024 Cannabis Clinical Outcomes Research Conference, or CCORC, put the spotlight on the latest research and health advances in the medical marijuana field — at a time when federal regulators are in the process of reclassifying medical marijuana as a lower-risk substance. The fourth annual event was held May 30-31 at the University of Florida Research and Academic Center in Lake Nona, Florida.

Matthew Hill, Ph.D., from the University of Calgary, delivered one of the conference’s keynote addresses.

CCORC 2024 convened a diverse group of experts, including researchers, physicians and industry leaders, to exchange ideas on the health and safety implications of medical marijuana. More than 100 registered attendees enjoyed keynote addresses from distinguished scholars: Margaret Haney, Ph.D., of Columbia University, delved into cannabis use disorder, Matthew Hill, Ph.D., from the University of Calgary, explored the intersection of cannabis, endocannabinoids and PTSD, while Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, highlighted laboratory science’s role in informing clinical decision making and patient safety in medical cannabis. In addition, a record 54 oral and poster presentations were accepted for the conference, providing a venue for trainees and early career scientists to present their cannabis research.

The conference took place weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice recommended marijuana be rescheduled as a Schedule III controlled substance. Almut Winterstein, Ph.D., director of the Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research, which hosts the CCORC, addressed the pending move in her opening remarks. She said changes in federal regulations could open new avenues for cannabis research while emphasizing more evidence is needed before medical marijuana can be deemed safe and effective.

Winterstein, a distinguished professor in the UF College of Pharmacy, also gave the conference attendees an overview of activities led by the Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research. Established in 2019, the consortium conducts, disseminates and supports research on the clinical effects of medical marijuana use. Winterstein said the consortium’s grant program has distributed more than $3 million to 46 awardees since its inception, and its members authored 57 peer-reviewed publications and delivered 21 invited talks and media interviews in the past year.

The Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research comprises nine universities across Florida with funding provided by the state legislature. Representatives from all nine institutions attended the CCORC 2024, fostering collaboration and advancing the understanding of medical marijuana’s impact.

Lake Nona, Florida

Cannabis Clinical Outcomes Research Conference Photos

CCORC 2024