LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The University of Kentucky has established a research center that will study the health effects of cannabis.

The research center will be located inside the UK’s College of Medicine Center on Drug and Alcohol Research.

Established by KY House Bill 604, the research center aims to jumpstart the research already taking place on campus. HB 604 provides the research center with $2 million over the next two years.

After KY HB 136 failed to pass during the recent legislative period, in Kentucky, the research conducted on campus could help provide legislators and citizens with more valuable information on the pros and cons of medical cannabis and cannabinoids.

“The legislature is interested in having us explore the conditions for which medical cannabis might be useful, as well as the most effective dosing and route of administration for each condition,” said Shanna Babalonis, Ph.D., director of the UK Cannabis Center.

Babalonis is widely known as a rising authority in the cannabis field and is considered an expert on the topic of medical cannabinoids.

“The new center will allow us to expand our clinical research, particularly focusing on medical conditions that may be helped by medical cannabis,” Babalonis said.

HB 604 also will require UK to apply to the U.S. DEA for a license to grow and cultivate cannabis. Pending approval, the research center will be capable of conducting agricultural research related to cannabis’ prime growing conditions.

UK President Eli Capilouto has recently appointed a team of UK faculty members to oversee the research center’s work and finances. The team is currently working to determine the center’s research goals and agenda.

An annual symposium will be held to present research findings.