The Wolf Administration has certified eight medical schools as Academic Clinical Research Centers in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program, signaling the next step in moving towards clinical research of medical marijuana occurring in the commonwealth.
“The research component of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program sets it apart from the rest of the nation,” Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvania’s premiere medical schools will be able to help shape the future of treatment for patients not just here, but across the country. These are patients suffering from serious medical conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and opioid use disorder.”
The eight medical schools are:
- 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;
- The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia;
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh;
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-Erie (LECOM); and
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia.
The research program, guided by Act 43 of 2018, allows for eight ACRCs. Each must be an accredited medical school in the state that operates or partners with an acute care hospital that is licensed and operating in the state.
More than 70,000 patients in Pennsylvania have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, nearly 44,000 of whom have been certified for the program. More than 1,200 physicians have registered for the program, nearly 800 of whom have been approved as practitioners.
The medical marijuana program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:
- Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, physicians, patients, laboratories, and clinical registrants and academic clinical research centers, all of which have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
- Issued Phase I permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;
- Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;
- Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
- Approved six training providers for physician continuing education;
- Approved four laboratories to test this medication before it is delivered to patients;
- Launched registries for patients and caregivers, as well as practitioners;
- Registered more than 70,000 patients for the program;
- Approved 31 dispensaries and 12 grower/processors to begin operations;
- Continued to work with permittees to ensure they will be operational;
- Accepted Phase II permit applications for dispensary applicants; and
- Issued 13 Phase II permits to grower/processors.
The medical marijuana program offers medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and are under a practitioner’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.