Following the Keystone State's previous positive moves concerning academic research and the legalization of medicinal cannabis, the state this week announced further updates. Opioid addiction is being added to the list of conditions for which medicinal cannabis can be prescribed and five Philadelphia-area medical schools will receive research licenses...
Having, earlier this year, already granted clinical licenses to other schools like the University of Pittsburgh, the announcement that five more academic institutions will be able to study cannabis may be a sign that Pennsylvania is pushing to become a national leader in the cannabis research field. “The research component of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program sets it apart from the rest of the nation,” Gov. Tom Wolf said.
The medical schools receiving licenses in Philadelphia are: Drexel University College of Medicine, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The second announcement, that the state Dept. of Health is adding opioid addiction to the list of ailments which can be treated with medicinal cannabis, is particularly important to Philadelphia. As stated in the article linked below, the city "continues to battle a burgeoning epidemic after 1,200 people died in 2017 of drug overdoses." The piece also noted that "Pennsylvania is the only state to allow the treatment of opioid-use disorder with medicinal marijuana."
Collectively, these announcements are a positive sign that, while federal laws lag behind, states are moving ahead on many fronts and pushing to destigmatize medicinal cannabis. Hopefully local efforts such at these will translate to a better public understanding of cannabis' benefits and lead to pressure on federal legislators to push for the rescheduling of the plant.