The University of Calgary has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding for collaborative research with Sundial Growers Inc. involving research and clinical studies of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
In a news release, the university said the partnership aligns with its strategic research areas of brain and mental health, as well as infections, inflammation and chronic diseases.
“Sundial is thrilled to sign this partnership agreement with the University of Calgary and we look forward to working with the Cumming School of Medicine’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute, as well as other institutes and departments, to find opportunities for world-class research and clinical studies of cannabis strains for medicinal purposes,” said Sundial president Geoff Thompson in a statement.
“Partnership agreements with world-class research institutions such as the University of Calgary are important for Sundial as we work towards becoming a leading international medical cannabis company.”
Besides research and clinical studies, the partnership will also investigate opportunities to sponsor specific trainees and faculty for projects related to the advancement of the understanding of medicinal applications of cannabis and to secure partnership funding to establish research chairs and trainee sponsorships for specific research projects, according to the university and the company.
“Early research into the possible benefits of medicinal cannabis shows promise. This agreement with Sundial will put the University of Calgary at the forefront of the scientific advancement of medicinal cannabis as a treatment option for a number of medical conditions,” said Dr. Keith Sharkey, interim director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, in a statement.
“Sundial’s approach to growing cannabis in their specialized cultivation modules makes them a strong partner for the University of Calgary, which needs a consistent and quality supply of cannabis for research purposes.”
Sundial Growers, a privately-held, Alberta-based Health Canada ACMPR-approved licensed producer of medical cannabis, operates a 31,000-square-foot production facility in Rocky View and has two separate production facilities in various stages of completion and licensing.
By 2019, the company says it expects to be one of the leading cannabis companies in the country with a projected production of over 150 million grams of dry cannabis and the ability to process over 30 million grams of cannabis extracts.
Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.