An Edmonton, Alta-based cannabis producer introduced Tuesday it has secured a partnership with Harvard College to launch a brand new centre to analysis the drug.

Atlas Biotechnologies Inc. shall be teaming up with Harvard World Catalyst, a cross-institutional program at Harvard. Collectively they’ll open the Worldwide Phytomedicines and Medical Hashish Institute at Harvard (Harvard IPI), primarily based out of the Harvard Medical College in Boston.

Atlas mentioned in a press release it will likely be one of many largest world efforts to analysis medical cannabis and phytomedicines, that are medicines derived from vegetation.

“We sit up for constructing a long-term relationship with Harvard Medical College, with the intention of enhancing lives by discovering new properties of cannabis for focused medical functions,” Atlas CEO and President Sheldon Croome mentioned in a press release.

The partnership will final three years and trials are anticipated to start subsequent yr, in line with CTV.

Atlas will provide the cannabis to Harvard from its manufacturing facility close to Edmonton for the college’s analysis into cannabis’ impact on ache administration and neurological situations.

In response to Harvard, the mission of IPI is to “leverage the perfect science, expertise, and schooling from Harvard and associate establishments to transform potential excessive impression medicinal vegetation to evidence-based pharmaceutical grade merchandise for world well being and financial growth.”

Harvard identified in its announcement of the partnership that whereas round 80 p.c of the world’s inhabitants use vegetation for medication, solely 15 p.c of the 300,000 plant species identified have been researched for medical functions.

As cannabis is legalized in additional states within the U.S. and different international locations world wide, extra analysis is important into the plant and its totally different parts, similar to cannabinoids.

This might be an indication that universities are starting to get on board with cannabis analysis.

Earlier this month, Harvard alumni Charles R. Broderick donated $9 million to the college and the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT) to analysis cannabinoids.

The partnership with Harvard isn’t the primary time Atlas has teamed up with a college. In September, the corporate joined the College of Alberta to search out efficiencies in cannabis waste administration in a program known as the Hashish Waste Undertaking.

Harvard could solely be the start of Atlas’ work with universities within the U.S. The corporate says that there could also be “potential distribution” for R&D functions to different post-secondary establishments within the nation.

Atlas has had a license to develop, promote and distribute cannabis merchandise since December final yr, however has chosen to focus on the medicinal market somewhat than leisure.