George Hodgin: Navy SEAL to DEA Approved Cannabis Researcher
A personal experience with a Navy SEAL team member looking for access to medical cannabis to treat his PTSD ultimately led George Hodgin to found and lead one of the first companies authorized in 2021 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to grow cannabis for cannabis research, Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC).
200 million American consumers live in a state where they can access cannabis from a dispensary or a delivery service yet researchers, universities, biotech companies, and pharmaceutical companies effectively cannot because cannabis is classified by the DEA as a Schedule 1 drug (drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse). For the last 52 years, a 12-acre farm at the University of Mississippi has been the only DEA licensed cannabis cultivator. The cannabis that is supplied by the University of Mississippi is renowned in the cannabis industry for not having any similarity to available to medical cannabis patients and consumers in the U.S.
“Sitting from my vantage point, the challenge that I see with current the cannabis frameworks is that there’s so many interested parties involved and some of them seemingly have misaligned incentives, or maybe not misaligned incentives, but not the same interests … patients, scientists, and doctors should have access to the same, cleanest cannabis that they know can treat a disease or symptoms every single time..”
George shares the three-year journey he’s taken to support veteran healthcare and to supply compliant, consistent, and clean cannabis for researchers around the world as Founder/CEO of BRC. George’s colleague and BRC Laboratory Director Dr. Brian Brandley, PhD joins the CannabizMD Cannabis Science and Therapeutics Education Forum on September 25, 2021, as a member of the roundtable “The Future of Medical Cannabis”.