An alumnus of Harvard and MIT has made a donation to promote cannabis research at both schools. In an announcement Tuesday , Charles R. Broderick said he is donating $9 million—split evenly between the two institutions—in support of research into how marijuana affects the brain and behavior.
It is, according to the schools, “the largest donation to date to support independent research of the science of cannabinoids.”
Broderick said the gift was driven by a desire “to fill the research void that currently exists in the science of cannabis.”
“I want to destigmatize the conversation around cannabis—and, in part, that means providing facts to the medical community, as well as the general public,” Broderick said in the announcement.
The founder of Uji Capital, which describes itself as “a family office focused on quantitative opportunities in global equity capital markets,” Broderick has distinguished himself as a vanguard investor in the cannabis industry. He got into the Canadian cannabis market early, taking equity positions in Tweed and Aphria. Broderick, who goes by “Bob,” also made a separate investment in Tokyo Smoke, a cannabis company that merged with DOJA in 2017 to create Hiku, which in turn was acquired by Canopy Growth Corp. a year later.
Although marijuana is now legal in Canada and in a growing number of states and cities in the United States—including in Massachusetts, home to both Harvard and MIT, where voters legalized recreational pot in 2016—there remains a dearth of credible research, preventing it from fully shedding its stigma. Research efforts have been hamstrung by the U.S. federal government’s ongoing hostility toward cannabis, which it still regards as a dangerous drug offering no medical value.