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Research & Development Business, Medical research

Come Get Your Leaves

A cannabis cultivator based in the Andes Mountains has vowed to donate US$25 million worth of product to researchers in the US, dubbing the initiative “Project Change Lives” (1).

Clever Leaves describes itself as “a multinational cannabis company with an emphasis on ecologically sustainable, large-scale cultivation and pharmaceutical-grade processing as the cornerstones of its global cannabis business.”  The company manages just over 167,000 square metres of cultivation space spread across 18 greenhouses.

To bring cannabis leaves to US researchers, the company has partnered with California’s Biopharmaceutical Research Co., which has a license to import cannabis into the US. Clever Leaves also brought in a panel of clinicians to review submissions to their call for proposals from researchers seeking medical cannabis to conduct studies. 

US research on marijuana has heretofore been beset with difficulties due to strict federal laws and regulations. For the better part of a century, the National Center for the Development of Natural Products at the University of Mississippi has been the only legal source for research-grade cannabis in the US. 

Clever Leaves have laid out the rules of the program and application process on their website, where they also state their ambition to extend the program to other countries over the next five years as global laws and regulations around cannabis develop.

Shortly after launching the project, Clever Leaves’ CEO Kyle Detwiler announced that the company had borrowed US$25 million from SunStream (2), an initiative under the umbrella of Sundial Growers Inc., which produces and markets cannabis products for the adult-use market.

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  1. Clever Leaves (2021). Available at:
  2. K Detwiler (2021). Available at:

About the Author

Angus Stewart

Angus is Associate Editor of The Medicine Maker

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