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May 31, 2016

Jefferson University forms medical marijuana education, research center

First of its kind to study medical marijuana

Thomas Jefferson University in Center City announced its effort to study the effects of medical marijuana.

The Center for Medical Cannabis Education & Research (CMCER) will provide unbiased information and guidance to both doctors and patients about the uses of medical marijuana and cannabinoid focused-therapies.

According to the health services school, it will be the first center of its kind.

Related: What's the status of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law?

“Jefferson is a leader in innovation, and the creation of the CMCER signals the institution’s dedication to embrace the ever-evolving nature of healthcare,” said Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “Understanding and researching new cutting-edge methods for the treatment of disease is a fundamental goal, and Jefferson is proud to be among the first of its kind to offer resources and support for the revolutionary expansion for medical marijuana.”

The center's mission is to collaborate research efforts and advance educational opportunities in the field.

The announcement comes a month after Pennsylvania became the 24th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana when Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill into law.

Dr. Charles V. Pollack Jr., who will lead the effort, stressed the need for further research into medical marijuana, “The ratio of hype and advocacy to scientific knowledge in the field of medical marijuana is far too high. Patients and their caregivers want new approaches to illness management and pain relief but their exposure to undertested and unvalidated treatments should be limited and carefully managed and monitored while a stronger evidence base is developed.”

The CMCER is funded through donations from individuals and groups interested in the clinical, scientific, social and business issues in connection with legalized use of medical marijuana.

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