The state of Pennsylvania opened another round of applications for cannabis companies that want to get involved with the research side of things. Specifically, companies can now apply to partner with research institutions in the state.
Companies that are approved by the state and that enter partnerships with research centers will provide raw data about medical marijuana. From there, that data will be analyzed by researchers.
Pennsylvania Now Accepting Applications from Cannabis Companies
This is the second time Pennsylvania has accepted applications from cannabis companies interested in participating in the state’s medical marijuana research initiatives.
Last year, the state began taking applications from cannabis cultivators. At the time, the idea was to find companies that could partner with state-approved marijuana research institutions.
But, as reported by local news source The Philadelphia Inquirer, that first round of applications did not produce any concrete results. More specifically, state officials did not grant any licenses. Officials ended up rejecting all applicants, citing a number of different technicalities.
As a result, the state is now opening up its second round of applications. In this round, cannabis companies can apply to become a licensed provider for state-approved research facilities.
Companies that win licenses will be allowed to grow cannabis. Additionally, the license will enable them to open six retail dispensaries.
In order to apply, applicants must already have a pre-existing arrangement with one of Pennsylvania’s state-approved research institutions. Companies interested in applying to the program have until April 11 to submit all materials.
Medical Marijuana Research in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana research program essentially involves two main parts. First, there are the state-approved research institutions.
These are essentially colleges and universities in the state that are now approved to conduct certain types of medical marijuana research.
To date, the state has approved eight schools to become “Academic Clinical Research Centers.” The schools licensed to participate are:
- Drexel University College of Medicine, in Philadelphia
- Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, in Philadelphia
- Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Philadelphia
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Erie
- Penn State College of Medicine, in Hershey
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in Pittsburgh
Interestingly, these schools are not authorized to handle any actual cannabis or cannabis products. And that’s where cannabis companies come into the equation.
Licensed cannabis companies, which will be called Clinical Registrants, make up the second key part of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana research program.
These companies will each be partnered with one of the eight schools. And the companies will handle all medical marijuana. Additionally, they will deal directly with medical marijuana patients.
These companies will gather a broad range of data regarding medical marijuana and medical marijuana patients. They will then send all data to their partner research center. From there, the research institution will use the data as the basis for a number of studies.
While this approach could generate a lot of much needed data about medical marijuana, there are some concerns over the quality of research.
For example, The Philadelphia Inquirer voiced some potential problems: “patients will be self reporting data, making any research built on it unlikely to be considered by typical peer-reviewed scientific journals.”