PCOM to study impact of medicinal cannabis on mental health, opioid addiction

A collaborative, interdisciplinary research program at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine aims to make Pennsylvania an “international leader in medical cannabis research.”

The Bala Cynwyd college will study the impact of medicinal marijuana on the body. (Courtesy photo)

In partnership with Miami-based medical cannabis company Cansortium, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine will launch an interdisciplinary research program on medical cannabis’ effect on the body.

A statement from the Bala Cynwyd college calls the research program “significant,” and says it will let a team of investigators examine the impact of medical marijuana on physical and mental health, quality of life, chronic pain, and opioid use and addiction.

In order to form the partnership, PCOM will re-apply to become a certified Academic Clinical Research Center under Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana law. Cansortium Health Partners, a subsidiary of Cansortium Holdings, will in turn apply as a Clinical Registrant.

“Pennsylvania is poised to become a national and international leader in medical cannabis research,” said PCOM president Jay Feldstein.

Cansortium, through its brand Knox Medical, earned a license to dispense medical marijuana in Pennsylvania’s York County in 2017. Knox also operates a dispensary in Hanover, Pa.

Jose Hidalgo, CEO and founder of Cansortium, said the company’s goal matches the objectives of the research program: improving quality of life for patients.

“It is our expectation that the data and insights emerging from this partnership will greatly expand the US-based scientific documentation around the many benefits of medical marijuana,” Hidalgo said.

The research project will also let Cansortium expand its Pennsylvania footprint. As a clinical registrant, the company is allowed to open up to six retail dispensaries in Pennsylvania to coordinate research efforts and dispense products to patients.

According to the Florida company’s 1,000-page permit application to open a Pennsylvania dispensary, Cansortium has raised $11.3 million in venture capital.

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