According to figures from Oregon’s Marijuana Regulation Committee, cannabis startups in the state have had at least $60 million to $80 million invested in the last six months, Northwest Public Radio reports. Projects range from gene testing, to perfecting new delivery methods such as transdermal patches, to researching medical applications for cannabis.
In January, Oregon entrepreneurs launched the ‘Oregon Hub,’ a research farm in Clackamas, in an effort to perfect growing techniques and potential ways to reduce water and energy use.
Another company, Phylos Bioscience, will outline genetic profiling of cannabis strains for $300.
“Well, so there’s a lot of legend and laws. So in general it’s like, my friend Billy gave me this. And he told me that he got it from this guy,” said Mowgli Holmes, chief scientific officer at Phylos. “And…this is the original thing. This is the lost cut of Panama Red from so and so in 1978.”
Phylos, then, can determine whether that strain is, in fact, Panama Red.
Due to cannabis’ federal Schedule I designation, much of the current research being conducted on cannabis is being spearheaded by private companies; however, state epidemiologist Katrina Hedberg said start-up research isn’t peer-reviewed or double blind, which means it’s not going to lead to any medications approved by the FDA.
“Doing that kind of study is very difficult when it comes to a natural herb product,” Hedberg said in the report.
The FDA has only approved one drug – Marinol – which contains synthetic THC.