Pittsburgh medical school seeks MMJ research partners

The University of Pittsburgh Medical School wants to collaborate with medical marijuana companies on research into the benefits and dangers of using medical cannabis to treat ailments and illnesses.

The university puts itself in a growing camp of respected medical institutions backing more research into medical cannabis – a move that ultimately could lead to more doctors recommending MMJ to patients. That, in turn, could boost medical cannabis sales.

Pennsylvania has “placed a greater emphasis on the need for reliable research than other states that have also enacted medical marijuana laws,” Art Levine, senior vice chancellor for health sciences and medical school dean, wrote in a letter to colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The medical school plans soon to send letters of intent guidelines for research partnerships with the companies, according to the letter.

Pennsylvania’s temporary MMJ regulations created eight clinical permits that would allow the holders to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana at up to six locations each, according to the Post-Gazette. The clinical permit holders must have a contractual relationship with medical schools that operate with an acute care hospital.

The law also creates a publicly funded, state-run research program to study marijuana’s effectiveness in treating the 17 medical conditions listed under the law.

Other medical and educational institutions involved with medical marijuana research include Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.