HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday approved four more clinical registrants that will be part of the state’s first-in-the-nation research program for medical marijuana. A clinical registrant holds both a medical marijuana grower/processor and dispensary permit and is contracted with an approved academic clinical research center.
“Pennsylvania remains on the forefront for clinical research on medical marijuana,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “This research is essential to providing physicians with more evidence-based research to make clinical decisions for their patients. It is the cornerstone of our program and the key to our clinically based, patient-focused program for those suffering with cancer, PTSD and other serious medical conditions.”
The four new clinical registrants are:
- Laurel Harvest Labs LLC, contracted with Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia;
- CannTech PA LLC, contracted with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), Erie;
- Organic Remedies Inc., contracted with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia; and
- Curaleaf PA LLC, contracted with The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
These four companies join the three clinical registrants previously approved in June 2019.
The research program, guided by Act 43 of 2018, allows for eight clinical registrants that each must hold both a grower/processor and a dispensary permit. Clinical registrants must have a research contract with one of eight approved academic clinical research centers.
Applications for the remaining clinical registrant will open Feb. 27.
In March, the department will bring together all eight academic clinical research centers and the seven approved clinical registrants to discuss what research they will be conducting and how they hope those outcomes will help patients.
According to the DOH, there are nearly 169,000 active certifications as part of the medical marijuana program. Nearly 289,000 patients and caregivers are registered for the program in order to obtain medical marijuana for one of 23 serious medical conditions.
There are currently 77 operational dispensaries in the commonwealth, and all are providing medication to patients. Active cardholders are visiting dispensaries two and a half times a month, on average, to get treatment for a serious medical condition.
According to the DOH, each visit has an average sales total close to $110. That total is down from nearly $140 as of Aug. 1, 2018. Nearly 10 million products have been sold since the start of the program, and total sales within the program are close to $720 million, which includes sales by the grower/processors to the dispensaries, and sales by the dispensaries to patients and caregivers.
As of Feb. 18, there are 21 grower/processors with permits to operate in Pennsylvania, and 15 of those are actively shipping to dispensaries. Many grower/processors are expanding at their permitted location.
More than 1,800 physicians have registered for the program, with close to 1,300 approved as practitioners.
The medical marijuana program offers medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and have been certified as having a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Act.