California: Is UCD going to get into the marijuana research business?

When Proposition 64 passed in California, legalizing recreational marijuana use, many people imagined that UC Davis might get into the pot business. With the No. 1 agricultural school in the nation, as well as a top plant biology program, UCD seems poised to become a cannabis research leader.

Not so fast, says Chief Campus Counsel Jacob Appelsmith.

“Under federal law, (marijuana) is a Schedule 1 drug,” Appelsmith said, as are heroin and LSD. Even as states are legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational uses, the feds are not moving forward at the same pace.

As a result, Appelsmith said, “Traditionally the only research that has been permitted has been to show harmful effects. (The government has been) very reluctant to fund research to show the benefits.”

Appelsmith has experience in marijuana law, having worked for Governor Jerry Brown for six years. He helped with the medical marijuana guidelines after...

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