Researchers receive grants from Bureau of Cannabis Control

November 19, 2020

On November 13th, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the lead state agency that regulates commercial licenses for both medical and adult-use cannabis, announced a wave of research grant funding at public universities. Researchers affiliated with the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center received $4.6 million in grants of the $30 million total that was awarded across the state. 

Proposals for grants fell within one of several categories related to cannabis research, including environmental impacts, public health, criminal justice and public safety, economic impacts, and the industry. Submissions to the BCC totaled more than 100 applications, with each grant proposal able to receive funds up to $2 million. Of the thirty-four grants awarded, eight went to teams at Berkeley. 

The majority of Berkeley grants went to researchers in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM), spanning a broad range of topics. For instance, professor Justin Brashares and graduate student Phoebe Parker-Shames were awarded funding to assess the environmental impacts of noise and light disturbance on wildlife from cannabis farms. Cooperative Extension (CE) specialists Jennifer Sowerwine and Van Butsic are part of a team that will examine tribal sovereignty and cannabis permitting on Native ancestral land. Other grants analyze the relationships between cannabis cultivation and wildfire, the impact of cannabis farms on salmon-bearing streams and waterways, and more.

“Our projects will address cannabis policy, cannabis producing communities, and the environment,” says co-director of the Cannabis Research Center and CE specialist in ESPM Van Butsic. “Our team has experience in social sciences, natural sciences, and the law, and our projects will provide an opportunity to address the challenges cannabis presents using an interdisciplinary approach.” 

“By harnessing expertise across campus to advance our understanding of cannabis in California, our research will inform policies that lead to positive economic, public health, and environmental outcomes for the state,” adds Ted Grantham, another co-director of the Cannabis Research Center and CE specialist in ESPM.  

For more information, read the press release from California Bureau of Cannabis Control. Here is a comprehensive list of projects involving Cannabis Research Center researchers:

Local Regulation of Cannabis in California
Professor Eric Bibier, UC Berkeley Law School 

Transformation of Unregulated Cannabis Cultivation Under Proposition 64
Professor Nathan Sayre and lecturer Ann Laudati, Department of Geography
Postdoc Michael Polson, ESPM 

Assessing Environmental Impacts of Cannabis-Related Noise and Light Disturbance to Inform Management of California Wildlife
Professor Justin Brashares and graduate student Phoebe Parker-Shames, ESPM 

Examining Tribal Sovereignty Over Cannabis Permitting on Native Ancestral Lands
CE specialists Jennifer Sowerwine and Van Butsic, ESPM
Professor Peter Nelson, San Diego State University 


Cultivation Bans, Local Control, and the Effects and Efficacy of Proposition 64
CE specialist Christy Getz and postdoc Michael Polson, ESPM 

Cannabis and Wildfire: Current Conditions, Future Threats, and Solutions for Farmers
CE specialists Ted Grantham and Van Butsic, ESPM 

Cannabis Water-Use Impacts to Streamflow and Temperature in Salmon-Bearing Streams
CE specialist Ted Grantham, ESPM
Professor Mary Power, Department of Integrative Biology 

The Effect of Local Cannabis Regulation on Property Prices
CE specialist Van Butsic, ESPM