Pennsylvania medical marijuana dispensaries join up for chronic pain study

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Twenty-five medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania are teaming up to collect patient data to help a chronic pain study at the University of Michigan, a move that could deal a blow to a new Keystone State research program that several MMJ businesses have called unfair.

Pennsylvania’s MMJ research program gives eight universities the go-ahead to solidify exclusive deals with local companies that want to grow and dispense medical cannabis for research purposes.

MMJ businesses have complained such exclusive pacts would “flood the market with medical marijuana” because each company that won a university contract would be allowed to cultivate MMJ and open six dispensaries.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, if the Michigan study signs up enough patients it could “render the idea of Pennsylvania’s state-sanctioned research program moot” by showing that schools don’t need to strike exclusive business deals.

Sue Sisley, a lead researcher on the Michigan research, said the study would need about 3,000 participants to be valid.

Marijuana business owners recently filed a lawsuit that temporarily halted the state-sponsored research program that would have allowed the eight colleges to partner with marijuana businesses and grant them “super licenses” – one cultivation and six dispensaries per company.

The argument against the program is that it would create an unfair business environment.