Washington Issues First Cannabis Research License

Medicinal cannabis has been legal in Washington state since 1998, and voters approved recreational marijuana in 2012.

On Monday, November 19, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) took the next step in legal cannabis evolution by issuing the state’s first cannabis research license to the Verda Bio research firm in Seattle.

“This is an important milestone for Washington’s marijuana industry,” said WSLCB Director Rick Garza in a statement. “We’re hopeful that the research will assist policy makers as we grapple with this emerging industry.”

With a research license, Verda Bio will be permitted to produce and keep cannabis for research purposes and test potency and composition level. The permit will also allow the company to conduct studies focused on the safety and efficacy of medicinal marijuana as well as perform genomic and agricultural research.

Applicants who are looking to acquire a research license must meet the same qualifications as other cannabis businesses as well as obtain verification through a third-party scientific reviewer who will assess their project’s design and overall value and determine whether they have the necessary resources and permissions to conduct it.

Now that Verda Bio has secured a research license, the company will be looking to create cannabis plants that produce minor cannabinoids such as CBG, THCV, and CBN in more significant quantities to study their potential therapeutic benefits.