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State to allow more participants in medical marijuana research

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As the Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to try to jump start its medical marijuana research program, it announced that academic clinical research centers can now work with multiple partners that grow and sell the substance.

Pennsylvania's research centers - eight hospitals and universities around the state - had been tasked by the health department to choose a clinical registrant to grow, dispense and research medical marijuana for them and then apply for a permit together.

But the department recently declined the first eight clinical registrants, stating in a press release that none of the applicants met the state's regulations.

In an effort to improve the chances of getting satisfactory applications, the department is now allowing academic research centers to choose more than one partner.

In a bulletin published on Dec. 22, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine explained that by allowing research centers to partner with more than one clinical registrant, the department hopes that the overall applications will improve. 

"The Department hopes to broaden the field of applicants, therefore ultimately being able to approve the highest quality clinical registrants and assuring that the most robust research will occur," Levine wrote in the bulletin.

The department is still accepting applicants for the program, to be chosen by one of the eight academic centers, including Penn State College of Medicine.

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Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis covers health care and Lancaster County. Email him at ipashakis@cpbj.com.

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