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Pennsylvania medical schools can now partner with more than one marijuana grower for research

Pa. wants more aspiring marijuana growers to apply for research permits.

FILE: A bag of trim, leaves from harvested medical marijuana plants are bagged and held for extraction.
FILE: A bag of trim, leaves from harvested medical marijuana plants are bagged and held for extraction.Read more

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is seeking more marijuana businesses “to broaden the field of applicants” partnering with the eight state medical schools on research into the health effects of cannabis.

The health department issued temporary regulations on Dec. 12 in the Pennsylvania Bulletin to allow the approved health systems to pair with more than one potential marijuana organization. Previously, the med schools were operating under the assumption they could only sign a contract with one cannabis grower.

In adding the new language, the department said it hoped to “be able to approve the highest quality clinical registrants and [assure] that the most robust research will occur.”

Early this month, the state rejected all eight aspiring growers who believed their exclusive contracts with the schools were iron clad. Regulators said each of the growers' applications were riddled with mistakes or missing information.

The marijuana companies may reapply to participate in the research program which will grant each the right to operate a grow operation and six dispensaries.

Before Dec. 5, the expected partners had been:

  1. University of Pennsylvania with Curaleaf Holdings.

  2. Drexel University with Acreage Holdings.

  3. Thomas Jefferson University with Main Line Investment Partners.

  4. Temple University with Laurel Harvest Labs.

  5. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine with Cansortium Health Partners.

  6. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine with Franklin Labs.

  7. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with Columbia Care

  8. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical School with PA Options for Wellness.