Eight Pennsylvania colleges get OK to study medical marijuana

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(This story has been updated from an earlier version.)

Pennsylvania on Monday unveiled eight universities that will be allowed to research medical marijuana, a potential boon for an industry where cannabis study is extremely limited.

According to the Tribune-Review, the schools authorized to conduct MMJ research are:

  • Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie
  • Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia
  • Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey
  • Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Monday’s announcement by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is unusual because few state cannabis programs have made such a commitment to studying medical cannabis.

But research is sorely needed in a space where a lack of scientific studies into the medical benefits of cannabis has slowed the growth of the industry.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The eight “certified academic clinical research centers” will research the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis for treating several health conditions.
  • Each center will partner with a cannabis company that will be granted one state license to cultivate and process MMJ. The company will also receive a dispensary license to sell medical cannabis at up to six storefronts.
  • A legal challenge filed by some MMJ license holders is still pending, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A group of license holders filed an injunction to stop Pennsylvania’s research program, arguing that it will provide an unfair advantage to the partner company.