Two organizations have distanced themselves from the former director of Lambert Center for the Study of Medical Cannabis and Hemp, who recently resigned after allegations of sexual harassment.
FSD Pharma, the Canadian marijuana company whose top officers reside in Philadelphia, announced on Tuesday that it had removed Charles Pollack from the role of chairman of its scientific advisory board.
Pollack was appointed as FSD’s science chairman the day after he formally resigned from Thomas Jefferson University’s Lambert Center in April following an investigation into allegations that he had harassed a female subordinate while he served as director there.
An account of the harassment and allegations of mismanagement at the Lambert Center was published by The Inquirer last week.
“The article led us to place Dr. Pollack on leave of absence and we have formed a committee to advise us on the next steps to take,” said Raza Bokhari, the chief executive officer of FSD Pharma, who lives in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Larry Kaiser, the dean of Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine and CEO of Temple Health, immediately will assume the role of FSD’s scientific advisory board chairman, said Bokhari.
“Dr. Kaiser responded to us at a great moment of need,” Bokhari said. “I know him very well and reached out to him when I was scrambling to a put a high-profile person in this very important role. He has some great plans to share with us as we move forward. This challenging situation has led to a great opportunity for us.”
Also, ioVita, a Massachusetts-based company that conducts medical marijuana research, removed Pollack’s name from its list of directors. The Inquirer article had described how Pollack had awarded a $300,000 contract to ioVita to compile a database of medical marijuana patients nationwide. The company never delivered the project and Jefferson has asked for its money back.
The firm did not respond to a request for comment.
And an Ananda Hemp CBD product that a televised new report claimed had tested for high levels of lead was removed from the sales website of Jefferson Health’s Marcus Institute of Integrative Health. Members of the Lambert Center board of advisers unsuccessfully had pleaded with Jefferson officials to stop an observational study using the CBD product. Ananda Hemp is owned by Ecofibre, whose majority owner is Barry Lambert, the Australian namesake of the Lambert Center.
At FSD Pharma, Bokhari named three additional cannabis researchers Tuesday to the FSD’s advisory board.