NORFOLK, Va. — A research firm in Virginia says it has gotten a federal license to import high-quality extracts of marijuana for medical research.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that Sanyal Biotechnology will soon embark on a series of critical studies into the treatment of various diseases and disorders.

Sanyal CEO Rebecca Caffrey said the license is the broadest ever issued to a U.S. company. And it allows the firm to import high-quality cannabis extracts that aren't available in the U.S.

Dr. Caffrey said up until now, no other company has been able to take Cannabis research to this level.

“It will be extremely helpful for Americans to be able to run clinical trials, clinical studies in this country and answer those questions: is our components of Cannabis good for all these different indications and if so, what's the best way to dose it?” said Caffrey. “We have not been able to really answer these questions quickly or easily before.”

Dr. Caffrey said that's because cannabis studies of this magnitude are hard to come by in the U.S.

“We are so far behind, it’s ridiculous,” said Dr. Caffrey.

“All of the medical marijuana products that have been developed have been tested in Canada or Israel. None of the testing goes on here, because it’s been so difficult to access material or to do studies here,” explained Caffrey.

But through the license, Sanyal Biotechnology will give us a better understanding of how medical marijuana can be used to help patients with PTSD, insomnia, seizures, and opioid addiction.

“There’s evidence that marijuana can help people who are trying to wean off of opioids,” said Dr. Caffrey.

The company’s next goal is to combat the opioid crisis. It’ll conduct a clinical trial of 200 people in Hampton Roads.

The clinical study’s timeline is still in the works.

“If we're able to use medical marijuana to help fight the opioid crisis in this country that would be huge,” said Dr. Caffrey.

See Also: Norfolk delegate introduces bill to legalize marijuana in Virginia

Sanyal operates in Norfolk. The company says it's looking to develop a clinical research facility.

The future research headquarters may not be in Virginia. But the company said it still wants to conduct a 200-person clinical trial in the state's Hampton Roads region.