$3m boost to medicinal cannabis research

Nov 27 2017

Professor Jennifer Martin

The NSW Government has announced it will provide more than $3 million in funding for medicinal cannabis research to the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE), based at the University of Newcastle (UON).

ACRE Director and UON clinical pharmacologist Professor Jennifer Martin said the funding would enable the Centre to collect real-world patient data on the effectiveness and safety of medicinal cannabis.

“The NSW data we collect will strengthen our evidence-based research and build our data collection capability to understand how these medicines work, affect patients and impact their quality of life,” Professor Martin said.

“This data is critical to help the Centre guide prescribing practice, inform policy and provide evidence-based information to clinicians and the wider community in NSW and across Australia.”

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Kevin Hall, said the funding added to the almost $2.5 million National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding announced in October.

“ACRE is Australia's first federally-funded national research centre in medicinal cannabinoids and the NSW Government funding will further position UON as a world-leader in medicinal cannabis research,” Professor Hall said.

“I would like to congratulate ACRE on this great outcome and look forward to the Centre taking another critical step forward to test the effectiveness and safety around medicinal applications of a range of cannabinoids.”

ACRE draws together research leaders and clinicians from major universities and research institutions across Australia to develop a national evidence-based response to the challenges around the implementation of medicinal cannabis into specialist and primary health care settings.

The ACRE is funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Centre of Excellence scheme and led by the University of Newcastle.

ACRE’s co-director is Professor Nadia Solowij from the University of Wollongong and the centre will be run in partnership with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Hunter New England Health and interdisciplinary teams across multiple Australian universities.

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.