Pennsylvania Stops Waiting On The Feds, Opens Up Cannabis Research To Med Schools

This March, Pennsylvania announced that it would be allowing local universities to apply for the ability to study cannabis. 8 schools have since received approval, and Governor Tom Wolf is hopeful the program will help remedy the roadblock set up by federal cannabis legislation.

Up until 2016, the availability of research-grade cannabis was extremely limited. The government-operated cannabis cultivation site at the University of Mississippi was the only facility that was licensed to distribute the stuff. The federal government has since agreed to open up the program and allow more cultivators to distribute research cannabis, but this has yet to happen.

Instead of waiting around for things to change on the federal level, Pennsylvania has decided to move things along on their own. Its new program allows local cannabis growers to provide research-grade marijuana to universities in the state. This is the first time a state has taken on this kind of program, and Governor Tom Wolf believes it will prove to be a huge step forward for cannabis research.

"Today, medical research is so limited by the federal government that only a few doctors can even have access to medical marijuana," Wolf told Herb. "Pennsylvania’s premier medical schools will be able to help shape the future of treatment for patients who are in desperate need not just here, but across the country."

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As medical marijuana continues to gain ground across the US, more and more colleges are adding cannabis to their curriculum. In fact, more than half of America's pharmaceutical schools (62 percent) now teach students about medical marijuana according to a new survey conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacy. "With more states legalizing medical marijuana, student pharmacists must be prepared to effectively care for their patients who may use medical marijuana alone or in combination with prescription or over-the-counter medications," the study's authors wrote.