Strategic plan

Canna Research Foundation

Strategic Plan

Draft September 8, 2020

Mission Statement

To be the preeminent population health outcomes research group for cannabis research and advisors for medical societies, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, distributors, and other organizations considering cannabis research.

 Core Values

Integrity: Our work will be unassailable regarding treatment of data and confidentiality.

Scientific Rigor: We will follow the highest scientific standards of protocol development, statistical analysis, publications, and disclosure practices.

Patient Focus: We will retain a laser focus on the well-being and protection of study participants.


  • Provide well-designed research with scientific rigor.
  • Provide data collection, statistical analyses, and publications important to a better understanding of the role of cannabis in health and disease.
  • Engage in collaborations with researchers, institutions, and industry professionals who share the core values of the Canna Research Foundation.


CRF is dedicated to quality unbiased observational epidemiological outcomes research to understand the patterns of use, knowledge, attitudes, and benefits/harms of cannabis use in defined patient, athlete, and older adult populations.

Situational Analysis & Unmet Needs

Movement in the healthcare field toward the Four Pillars of population health:

  1. Improving the individual experience of care;
  2. Improving the health of populations;
  3. Reducing the per capita cost of healthcare; and
  4. Improving the experience of providing care in the clinical workforce.

There is global confusion and uncertainty in patient care and self-administration of cannabis in its different routes of administration and formulations for various medical uses:

  • Lack of urgently needed, carefully designed, observational and survey studies examining cannabis use.
  • Lack of a coherent legal framework in the United States (Schedule 1).
  • Increasing social acceptance of cannabis for various medical uses.
  • Safe and effective ways to reduce prescribing and use of opiates.
  • Lack of standardized nomenclature, testing, product labelling, and dosing.

Rapidly emerging commercial cannabis sector and marketplace with unfounded and potentially dangerous benefit claims with limited oversight.

Goals 2020-2022

Goal 1. Leverage the Athlete Peace Study to create key information projects and advance new studies.

1.1           Identify critical unmet needs regarding cannabis knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and use in athletes that will direct further research to help develop target markets and build CRF reputation.

  • Create an athlete database to collect information regarding cannabis use in athletes to better understand patterns of use, dosing, frequency of use, and best practices for various conditions that athletes uniquely face.

Goal 2. Launch and complete the AAN PEACE Survey & the AAAAI KAP Survey

2.1 Collaborate with the Allergy & Asthma Network (AAN) to conduct and completethe AAN PEACE Survey Study

  • Aims are to characterize cannabis patterns of use, benefits and adverse effects to cannabis, cannabis knowledge and attitudes by survey among patients with asthma and other allergic disorders.
  • Recruitment ongoing with over 800 participants already completing the survey. 
  • The study has been partially funded by the AAN.

2.2 Collaborate with ACAAI, EAACI, CSACI for the International Cannabis Allergists KAP (Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice) study

  • Aims are to measure knowledge, attitudes, behavior, use and practice regarding cannabis in active members and fellows of the three societies.  
  • Survey is in progress and will be sent out when finalized by the KAP working group.
  • Funds are to be developed via the three societies and other entities..

Goal 3.  Launch The R-PEACE & KAP Surveys, The NBA PEACE Survey, International Allergy Societies KAP Study, IBD data analysis, Senior PEACE Survey

3.1 The Rheumatology PEACE (Pain, education, attitudes and cannabis experience) and Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice (KP) studies

  • Aims are to measure knowledge, attitudes, behavior, use, and practice in active rheumatologists through the American College of Rheumatology.
  • Measure cannabis patterns of use and benefits/harms, knowledge and attitudes in patients with rheumatic disease.
  • CRF is not the leader of this study, JZ will be a co-investigator with a collaboration with other institutions and rheumatologists.
  • PI is Dr. Stuart Kassan who is on our advisory council.
  • Grant was submitted to the Rheumatology Research Foundation on August 3, 2020. Expected date of review completion: October 2020.

3.2 The National Basketball Association (NBA) PEACE Survey

  • Aims are to measure knowledge, attitudes, behavior and use of cannabis among former NBA players.
  • Assisted by two former NBA players we are in the process of obtaining approval and funding by the NBA or the NBA players association to launch a study to determine how and why NBA players use cannabis.
  • Goal is to obtain pertinent information on actual cannabis use among former NBA players to help the NBA in its deliberations to legalize cannabis. 

3.3 International Asthma and Allergy Societies Cannabis Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice (KAP) Study

  • Aims are to measure knowledge, attitudes, behavior, use, and practice in active allergist members of three International Allergy and Asthma Societies.
  • Multinational collaboration with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI).
  • Execute a KAP survey that would be sent out to members of all three societies – CRF will be the data management center for the study. Each society will be represented by Principal Investigators from their organization.
  • Create a collaborative mission statement about cannabis allergy from the three societies that would be disseminated to its members and the larger allergy and asthma communities.

3.4 The Senior PEACE Survey

  • Older adults are the fastest growing population of cannabis users.
  • Aims similar to other PEACE studies plus looking at well-being, drug interaction drug.               
  • Protocol is completed.
  •  Launch awaits adequate funding.

3.5 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Study

  • Aims are to measure knowledge, attitudes, behavior and use of cannabis among IBD patients.
  •  The project is a collaboration with two gastroenterologists and Columbia Care, an industry leader in cannabis dispensaries which has collected data that can be analyzed by CRF.          
  • The analyzed data will help to develop a protocol for a larger grant. 
  • Presently the study is unfunded.

3.6 Pursue other studies as they emerge.

Goal 4.  Establish the CRF Board of Directors, board committees, and hire staff as needed.

4.1 Recruit a board member with financial management expertise.

4.2 Recruit a board member with marketing and fundraising expertise.

4.3 Establish research and resource committees, including non-board members on committees as appropriate.

4.4 Establish a CRF advisory committee.

4.5 Hire staff (e.g. researchers, biostatisticians, study coordinators, assistants) as needed.

Goal 5.  Create and implement a marketing plan.

5.1 Select target societies, organizations, and markets for cannabis research.

5.2 Promote a positive professional image of CRF.

5.3 Finalize marketing plan for board adoption.

 Goal 6. Develop and implement sources and uses of funds plan.

6.1 Develop a 1- and 3-year operations budget.

6.2 Develop and gain board approval on a fundraising plan resulting in full funding for select projects and a three-month operating reserve by the end of 2021.

12-Month Implementation Schedule

Long-Range Vision of Success

Success of the Canna Research Foundation will be measured by:

  • Conducting, completing, and publishing multiple innovative research studies on cannabis.
  • Being recognized as an innovative and respected cannabis research foundation that provides answers to unmet needs concerning cannabis knowledge, attitudes, behavior and use in patients with various disorders and among physicians treating such patients.
  • Being instrumental in disseminating and improving education about cannabis to patients and physicians regarding the benefits and risks of cannabinoids and how to use them responsibly.
  • Earning the reputation as the premier scientific resource for medical/health care organizations and patient advocacy/support groups, the cannabis industry based on scientific veracity, patient-focused research, and a respected team of researchers with specific and comprehensive expertise.