Pennsylvania certifies 8 Colleges for Medical Marijuana Research

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on May 18, 2018.

Pennsylvania’s growing medical marijuana program is already making history just three months since its beginning in February.

The Keystone State, which had made efforts to expand cannabis access and availability within the first 100 days of legal sales, is now giving eight medical schools the green light to conduct clinical research on medical marijuana.

As per the reports of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Governor Tom Wolf named eight first-rate Pennsylvania institutions of higher learning as Certified Academic Clinical Research Centers in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program, signaling the first step towards clinical research to commence in the commonwealth.

Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia; Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia; Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey; Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia; Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh; Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), Erie; and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia are the eight colleges which have been awarded the cannabis research permits.

Announcing the decision in a press conference recently, Governor Tom Wolf said, “Today, medical research is so limited by the federal government that only a few doctors can even have access to medical marijuana.”

“Pennsylvania's premiere medical schools will be able to help shape the future of treatment for patients who are in desperate need not just here, but across the country,” he added.

The regulatory and drug enforcement agencies have restricted any attempt to research marijuana’s medicinal efficacy and long-term benefits as the marijuana is still prohibited at the federal level in the United States. For the few researchers that have been approved to legally investigate ganja, the poor quality of government-grown ditch weed — cultivated by farmers at the University of Mississippi — has prevented the finding of usable insights into the controversial plant.

The approved universities will have their research funded and product provided by Pennsylvania’s licensed medical marijuana producers under the first-of-its-kind cannabis research program. Besides, scientists will be working directly with the Keystone State’s certified medical marijuana patients and products as the university studies will be tied directly to the state’s medical program.

Though the specific research initiatives are yet to get a start date, the approved universities will have to begin their cannabis studies within six months of initial licensing as per the state law.

Meanwhile, authorities of the certified colleges expressed their expectation that the groundbreaking research initiative will lead to significant advances in marijuana science.

Officials of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said, “It is important to note that Pennsylvania is the first and only state in the country to institute such a program, and we believe that the research that will be conducted by the School of Medicine in collaboration with [University of Pennsylvania Medical Center] will be of great importance in determining the safety, efficacy and effectiveness of medical cannabis products in treating specific diseases.”

Governor Tom Wolf had signed the Medical Marijuana Program into law on April 17, 2016.

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