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Utah State is growing marijuana – for research

LOGAN — Utah State University, home of the Aggies, is growing something new: marijuana.

Professor of Plant Physiology Dr. Bruce Bugbee says researchers have a very scientific reason for studying the plant. They want to figure out the best way to produce cannabid or CBD oil for medical use.

He described the intent behind the research: “Find the uses, find the doses, what levels are safe, and use a botanical medicine instead of something synthetic like opioids.”

Bugbee says one of the challenges with legalizing medical marijuana is that there is very little available scientific research because cannabis has been illegal for so long.

“In spite of many people wanting to study this, because it was illegal, you couldn’t study it at the research universities,” Bugbee said. “People studied it illegally, people going in their closets and illegal places, and these are people without formal training.”

Bugbee tells KSL 5 TV his plants have grown a lot in just a short amount of time. But he’s not worried about the potential for abuse. USU’s cannabis plants, he explained, were grown specifically for their flowers in an effort to harvest the oil.

“These plants are grown for their botanical medicine. They’re not marijuana plants,” Bugbee said. “You wouldn’t get high. You wouldn’t get intoxicated from these, they’re genetically selected to have low THC.”