A cannabis research center is coming to the Windy City.

Illinois and Chicago officials and the Discovery Partner Institute (DPI), which is part of the University of Illinois system, announced Dec. 15 that a Cannabis Research Institute (CRI) is opening in the city to “further boost Illinois’ global standing as a science hub,” according to a press release.

The CRI’s goal is to provide the cannabis industry with “evidence-based” and “research-driven” data that covers various topics related to social equity, crop management, and the medicinal and health benefits of cannabis consumption, according to the release.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this is an opportunity to “expand the breadth of knowledge and science needed to shape policy.”

The center plans to partner and collaborate with industry stakeholders to ensure that the cannabis research “will inform regulation and policy to protect public health and safety; stimulate medical, scientific, and technology advancement; and address societal questions about the impacts of new markets and policies.”

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DPI will establish a research team to foster these partnerships, which the institute has “years of experience” doing, said Bill Jackson, executive director of DPI.

Jackson continued, “We’re excited to forge new territory and partnerships, conducting research that will make our city safer and healthier—and our society more equitable.”

The center will have a strong focus on social equity and plans to provide job opportunities to people of color, partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities for research opportunities, host educational events in underrepresented communities, and more.

“I am thrilled to announce the launch of the Cannabis Research Institute—a national first, creating actionable research to inform data-driven policymaking and advance public knowledge on the impacts of cannabis,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “I can think of no better place than Illinois for this endeavor. We are the heart of the Midwest and at the very forefront of cannabis legalization—all while dismantling the long-lasting effects of the war on drugs on our communities.”