William Paterson forms Cannabis Institute

William Paterson University has formed a new institute to provide scientific and economic information on topics related to cannabis as well as opioids and other drug substances, it announced Thursday.

The Cannabis Institute, which will be located on the university’s Wayne-based campus, will be comprised of a dozen university faculty and staff who will conduct research and analyze data to inform policy makers, provide information for drug-related counseling and more.

“The possible legalization of marijuana in New Jersey has significant public policy, economic, and public health implications that require in-depth research and analysis,” Richard J. Helldobler, president of William Paterson University, said. “We formed this institute so that our highly qualified faculty who study cannabis and other related topics can serve as a resource to help inform policy and practice based on their research and expertise, and to serve as an incubator for collaborative research projects and curriculum.”

The institute’s members will be able to act in an advisory capacity to state, county or municipal agencies that are seeking information about medical and recreational marijuana. The institute will also provide space for conferences, seminars, forums and more to discuss research, data and policy on cannabis.

Rahi Abouk, an associate professor of economics, finance and global business at the university, will head the institute.