Medical Marijuana Research Program Launched In Pennsylvania

Marijuana research Pennsylvania
Image: Jarmoluk

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health last week announced a medical marijuana research program involving clinical registrants and approved universities is to kick off in the state.

The program will start with three clinical registrants, who each have a grower/processor and a dispensary permit. The initiative will see the collaborations conducting clinical research on any of the 21 conditions for which the use of medical marijuana is approved for in Pennsylvania.

“This research is essential to providing physicians with more evidence-based research to make clinical decisions for their patients,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. “It is the cornerstone of our program and the key to our clinically-based, patient-focused program for those suffering with cancer, PTSD and other serious medical conditions.”

Eight medical schools in the state have been certified as Academic Clinical Research Centers.

Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program has been extremely popular since it was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf in April 2016. According to the Department of Health, there are currently 106,000 active certifications in the state; which represents approximately .8% of the Pennsylvania’s population.

There’s been no shortage of physicians wanting to get on board, with 1,600 having registered for the program and more than 1,140 of those have been approved.

25 grower/processors permits have been issued under the program; 18 of which are operational, and 50 dispensary permits have been approved.

In other recent cannabis related news out of Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf has applauded the state’s House of Representatives for its passage of ten bills related to the governor’s PA Farm Bill. Among those is HB 1519; which will create a Specialty Crop Block Grant program to invest in priority crops including hemp.

Interest in growing hemp in the state has spiked, which in part led to Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture to re-open its 2019 program to allow more participants. Early this month, various reports put the number of applications submitted at around 300. Unlike some U.S. states, hemp can be grown for the purposes of extracting cannabidiol in Pennsylvania, so it’s little wonder so many farmers are keen to cultivate as CBD is a very valuable and highly sought-after compound.