About the Center

Established in 2018, the UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis is an interdisciplinary joint academic research venture by the School of Medicine and the School of Law. It is co-directed by Daniele Piomelli, Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, and Bob Solomon, Clinical Professor of Law.

The Center will foster multidisciplinary investigations in three primary areas:

  • Basic medical sciences
    • (i) Basic science studies on the physiological functions and pathological implications of the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system;
    • (ii) discovery of endocannabinoid-based medications;
    • (iii) investigations on the safety and efficacy of cannabis-based products in animal models of human disease (e.g., obesity, diabetes and autism spectrum disorders). NIH-funded work on these topics is already ongoing in the labs of two faculty members who will participate in the CSC: Drs. Daniele Piomelli and Stephen Mahler (Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, School of Biological Sciences). Moreover, in response to a Request for Applications from NIDA, a team of faculty members led by Dr. Piomelli and including Dr. Mahler submitted in September 2017 a revised P50 Center grant application entitled Impact of Cannabinoids Across the Lifespan (ICAL). The goal of this $10-million, 5-year proposal is to explore the long-term consequences of adolescent cannabis exposure on brain function and behavior. NOTE: This proposal has been funded at $10 million.
  • Clinical sciences
    • (i) Prospective clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of cannabis-based products: these will include studies on the potential application of cannabis to the treatment of chronic pain (principal investigator, PI: Ariana Nelson MD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PI: Christopher Reist, MD), Alzheimer-associated psychosis (PI: Steven Potkin, MD); and hemodialysis-induced cachexia (PIs: Hamid Moradi MD and Kam Kalantar, MD); these clinical studies will be complemented by translational investigations on the impact of cannabis exposure on the functioning of the endocannabinoid system, which be led by Dr. Piomelli; and
    • (ii) retrospective studies on the consequences of cannabis use on specific patient populations: under the leadership of Ping Wang MD, director of UCI’s Diabetes Center, the CSC will seek funding to create a population cohort to explore the long-term impact of cannabis use on energy balance, metabolism and diabetes – an area that is still critically understudied. Funding proposals in response to Proposition 64-related requests for application (not yet issued) are currently in the pre-draft stage.
  • Jurisprudence
    • (i) Studies on the legal oversight of finances, business structure, regulation, criminal and civil justice regimes, and ethics in the cannabis industry; and
    • (ii) comparative studies on cannabis-control regimes in the United States and abroad. The faculty in our School of Law has nationally recognized expertise in each of these areas. Professor Solomon will offer a 2 credit course on Cannabis and the Law in the Spring 2019 term. The course will be interdisciplinary, including medicine, law, business, economics, sociology, land use, and environmental issues.


  • Photo of Daniele Piomelli

    Daniele Piomelli

    Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology
    Co-Chair, UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis

  • Photo of Robert Solomon

    Robert Solomon

    Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law
    Co-Chair, UCI Center for the Study of Cannabis


Daniele Piomelli
(949) 824-9179

Robert Solomon
(949) 824-9719

Center for the Study of Cannabis Website