Medical cannabis research gets boost in Connecticut

Two medical institutions in Connecticut have received the go-ahead to research the healing properties of cannabis, news that can potentially bolster the MMJ industry’s credibility.

Connecticut Hospice Inc. in Branford, the nation’s first hospice, announced Monday it will research how marijuana can alleviate pain and stimulate appetites in terminally ill patients, according to the Associated Press.

St. Francis Hospital in Hartford said it received state approval the previous Friday to study how cannabis can replace opiates in reducing pain in patients with traumatic injuries like broken bones.

Hospital officials hope to show that a medical cannabis painkiller can help alleviate the United States’ growing addiction to opioids, the Hartford Courant reported. It’s the nation’s first such study, according to Jonathan Harris, Connecticut’s consumer protection chief.

St. Francis’ eight-month-long research will involve about 60 patients who would normally be prescribed opiate painkillers but instead will receive medical marijuana, according to the Courant.

A new Connecticut law that took effect Oct. 1 permits research into how marijuana can be used for medical purposes.