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Although he understands that not everyone agrees, Todd Dalotto thinks cannabis is the most interesting of all plants. So much so that the Oregon State University graduate has devoted about 14 years of his career as a horticulture researcher to studying the plant’s medicinal properties.

“No matter how seriously you study cannabis, it’s hard to get out of the pot jokes,” Dalotto said.

Dalotto, 41, of Philomath opened his new business in downtown Corvallis, CAN! Research, Education & Consulting, last week. The business at 551 S.W. Fourth St. serves as a resource for patients, growers, businesses and government for all issues relating to cannabis.

“There’s a lot of excitement with cannabis research. It could very well be a cure for cancer,” Dalotto said. For example, some recent medical studies are finding that a certain strain of cannabis reduces the number of breast cancer cells.

He said that Benton County has a lower-than-average amount of medical marijuana patients than other counties and he said that is largely due to a lack of resources. But the market for the medicine, he said, is growing.

“Hopefully my services will provide educations for doctors,” he said. “Thirteen years ago, doctors knew very little about cannabis ... now it’s beginning to become part of the curriculum.”

Oregon’s medical marijuana law passed in 1998, allowing the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana by prescription for patients who have certain medical conditions.

“Corvallis is a thriving place for research, particularly horticultural research,” he said. “So I found this to be a very good place to live and open a cannabis research facility.”

State law limits the amount of plants that can be raised for medicinal use to 24 per grower, so Dalotto grows marijuana himself and also contracts with growers for his research, which includes breeding, growth rates, plant diseases and relationship with insects.

“Science right now is on the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

CAN! Research, Education & Consulting also provides a long list of services and consultations to organizations. For example, if a company needs to write into their human resources policy an item about medical marijuana, Dalotto can be a consultant for that. He also can check cannabis for mold, pesticides and other toxins as well as test for potency.

Right now, Dalotto is running the business alone, although he hopes to hire administrative help soon. He is planning to hold two information meetings in the near future for interested persons.

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