Two Philadelphia medical schools Thursday announced that they are collaborating on research into medical marijuana, and will copresent an academic conference on cannabis at the end of this month.

Temple University will partner with Thomas Jefferson University's Center for Medical Cannabis Education and Research to "encourage research and education initiatives involving physicians and scientists" across the state and nation.

The collaboration marks a significant development within the local research community, said Charles Pollack, director of Jefferson's center.

"By working together we'll speed things up, vet ideas more thoroughly, and bring more resources to bear on getting things done in an efficient manner," Pollack said. "This is a very exciting time."

Jefferson launched its center for cannabis education May 31 with a steering committee of 20 international scientific luminaries.

Temple has a history of being on the cutting edge of cannabinoid research. Five faculty members are investigating  the effects of the substances on the human body, whether the compounds are derived from the marijuana plant, synthesized in the lab, or produced by the body itself, said Sara Jane Ward, assistant professor of pharmacology at the university's Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

The two institutions are co-presenting the 2016 Carolina Cannabinoid Collaborative Conference  from next Friday to Oct. 30.

The summit, which is slated to draw 100 of the country's leading cannabis researchers, will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel in Center City and Temple's Mitten Hall.

Mahmoud A. ElSohly, who led the Marijuana Research Project at the University of Mississippi, and Jefferson's Pollack will lead a Saturday afternoon panel discussion on emerging cannabinoid topics. The event is open to the public.  Registration is $185.

 Contact Sam Wood at 215 854 2796, or @samwoodiii