Trailblazers and Wholistic Research & Education Foundation Announce Partnership to Advance Cutting-edge Science and Research in Medical Cannabis

Partnership to bridge the cannabis education gap with evidence-based data on the health benefits associated with the cannabis plant

(Powder Mountain, UT –  Aug 15, 2019) Trailblazers, a premier cannabis executive leadership community, today announced a strategic partnership with the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation (Wholistic), a public non-profit dedicated to exploring the health benefits of cannabis through the funding of both clinical and scientific research. The evidence-based data is leveraged for education and health advocacy.  The collaboration is to be launched at the second gathering of the Trailblazers community which takes place August 16–18 in Eden, Utah, and is intended to support initiatives that can bring radical transparency to the cannabis marketplace via medical research, education and advocacy.  

The role of cannabis in health care has grown exponentially in recent years. Currently, 33 U.S. states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, and 11 states have legalized recreational use, with many more ballot initiatives under consideration for 2020.  However, even with increased public interest and medical consumption rates, there is still a lack of legitimate, high-quality research conducted by academic institutions around the safety and efficacy of cannabis. Most research into the medical benefits of cannabis is being conducted by private companies, with few findings becoming publicly available or published.

A key takeaway from the inaugural March 2019 Trailblazers event was the need to support clinical research and evidence-based education on medical cannabis, with the community viewing it as the missing link to establishing trust in the burgeoning industry. The strategic partnership between Trailblazers and Wholistic will serve to lower the barriers to exploring the health benefits of cannabis and educating the public by augmenting unique collaborations between the top academic research institutes and industry leaders.

“Trailblazers couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with the Wholistic Foundation,” said Tyler Wakstein, co-founder of Trailblazers and newly appointed Wholistic Board Member.  “Wholistic has demonstrated its leadership and innovative thinking with groundbreaking cannabis research already underway. The Trailblazers community is excited to support future studies as well as collaborate with Wholistic on other key issues such as public education, social justice, equity and inclusion within the cannabis industry.”

“The cannabis industry is moving at an accelerating rate, while we are still trying to answer basic questions on cannabis safety and how and why this plant may deliver its health benefits,” said Andy Noorda, Chairman and Co-founder of Wholistic.  “We strongly believe our partnership with Trailblazers strengthens our ability to achieve our shared mission in empowering the public, healthcare providers and legislators with much need evidence-based data on cannabis efficacy.”

In line with its mission to understand how and why cannabis can benefit certain health conditions, Wholistic has already embarked on two groundbreaking CBD efficacy studies. Wholistic has successfully funded the largest private medicinal cannabis research in U.S. history, donating $4.7M for Investigating Cannabinoids in Autism Spectrum Disorders” with UC San Diego, in addition to $740,000 for Brain Effects of Cannabinoidswith the University of Utah. 

Wholistic, led by President and Co-founder, Pelin Thorogood, has a Medical Advisory Committee that includes world-renowned doctors, scientists, researchers, and policy experts who have been instrumental in Wholistic’s efforts to date. “Using a venture philanthropy approach to make strategic investments, the Foundation takes an active role with its partners by deploying funding to the most pressing projects and facilitating multi-site and multidisciplinary studies to explore the underlying mechanisms of action for cannabis efficacy,” said Dr. Jeff Chen, Executive Director of the UCLA Medical Cannabis Research Initiative, who also serves on the Wholistic Medical Advisory Committee. “The collaboration between Trailblazers and Wholistic will serve to further bridge the gap between the market and science and expand the conversation between leading researchers, educators, policy experts and the broader cannabis industry.”  

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About Trailblazers

Trailblazers is a global community of influential leaders in the cannabis and hemp industries. Its mission is to develop industry-wide standard practices to accelerate industry growth and spread the practice of conscious capitalism. Learn more at

About Wholistic Research and Education Foundation

Wholistic Research and Education Foundation is a California-based non profit dedicated to exploring the health benefits of CBD-rich therapeutics through funding clinical and scientific research as well as increasing safe and legal access to those in need via advocacy and education.  Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, the Wholistic Medical Advisory Committee includes some of the most distinguished MDs, scientists, researchers and policy experts in the country. Learn more at

Media Contacts

Tyler Wakstein
(508) 361-3245

Wholistic Research and Education Foundation
Zoe Selzer McKinley
(608) 658-4181