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Penn State Approved For Medical Marijuana Clinical Research

As Pennsylvania continues to expand its medical marijuana program, the Department of Health has approved Penn State’s College of Medicine in Hershey as a Certified Academic Clinical Research Center, alongside seven other institutions around the state.

“The research component of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program sets it apart from the rest of the nation,” Governor Tom Wolf said in a release. “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.”

The other institutions approved for research are Drexel, Temple, Thomas Jefferson, UPenn, Pitt, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Department of Health also developed temporary regulations to implement the recommendations of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, which will take effect Thursday, May 17. The regulations expand the number of serious medical conditions to include neurodegenerative diseases, terminal illness, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders, and opioid-use disorder.

Pennsylvania is the first state to add opioid-use disorder as a condition for medical marijuana patients. Only approved conditions can be studied through Pennsylvania’s clinical research program, so this will allow research to be conducted on medical marijuana’s effectiveness in treating opioid-use disorder.

More than 37,000 patients have registered for the medical marijuana program, and more than 16,000 have already received their ID cards and received medical marijuana at a dispensary.

The state announced its list of approved dispensaries last summer, including a location in State College. At last update, the facility on North Atherton Street was hoping to open this month.

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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