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June 9-12: Breath test, cancer on medicinal plants agenda

By Lorraine Nelson, WSU Spokane

DhingraSPOKANE, Wash. – Marijuana and other medicinal plants are the focus of a research conference hosted by Washington State University in Spokane June 9-12.

WSU chemistry professor Herbert Hill will talk about a marijuana detection breath test researchers are developing to determine if a driver is under the influence. Amit Dhingra, conference chair, will discuss genomic technologies to ensure strain purity.

Amit Dhingra in his WSU lab.

A cannabis tour is scheduled for the morning of June 12.

The sixth annual conference of the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants will draw speakers from universities in the U.S. and other countries, including Rutgers, Texas A&M, Clemson, India and Korea.

Most of the conference will be held on the WSU Spokane campus, but it opens June 9 at the Red Lion Hotel with a reception 6-8 p.m. and a presentation by physician Suzanne Sisley, who will talk about medicinal marijuana.

WSU’s Hill will be one of three speakers on the afternoon of June 11 at a session titled “Production, commercialization and regulation of medicinal plants and herbs including marijuana.”

Other topics will include:
– Preventing and treating cancer with natural agents that target inflammatory pathways
– Development of pharmaceutical products from plants
– Forest medicinal plants for potential forest farming in the southeast U.S.
– Medicinal foods from American Indian food systems
– Tissue culture technology as a potential tool for commercial production of medicinal plants
– Development of scientific standards for medical cannabis diagnostic laboratories.

Find more conference details at


Amit Dhingra, WSU associate professor in genomics and biotechnology, 335-3625,



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