Phase one of Pennsylvania Department of Health medical marijuana program kicked off with the issuing of applications for dispensary and grower-processor permits. It plans on authorizing 27 dispensaries and 12 grower/processor operations. It will be a tough decision as a lot of parties showed interest.
Well-known pain specialist applies to grow and dispense cannabis for chronic pain management
Pennsylvania medical marijuana program outlets are sought after by many, the Morning Call reports. One such interested party is Dr. Bruce Nicholson, medical director of pain management at Lehigh Valley Health Network. He is also a Department of Health advisor on the medical marijuana policy. He recently founded a company, TruVo Health Care, to apply for one of the five “integrated” permits, which would allow the firm to grow and process, as well as distribute cannabis directly to patients.
Nicholson hopes to improve the way science sees the medical aspect of marijuana and how it is prescribed. His firm aims to develop a consistent pharmacological method of administering cannabis for chronic pain and other conditions.
Cannabis for chronic pain to replace opioids
If TruVo Health Care gets one of the integrated permits, it will focus on providing alternative pain management that doesn’t carry as many risks as conventional treatment using opioids such as oxycodone. It often leads to addiction, and can cause heroin dependence, says Nicholson. TruVo will conduct clinical trials and research on cannabis for chronic pain and other conditions.
Nicholson, says the team at TruVo aims to provide safe medication maximizing medical potential and minimizing psychoactive effects. There is proof that opioids can be replaced by medical cannabis to manage chronic pain, and to wean patients off addictive painkillers, says Nicholson. Medical cannabis being legal and widely accepted as an effective pain therapy will speed up the process to get it to those who need it most. This is why TruVo will conduct research and trials to determine the most effective uses of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain treatment.
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TruVo has already got the land
The company has acquired 12.4 acres zoned for commercial agricultural use to grow its CBD-rich medical marijuana. It is considering three possible locations for dispensaries, one in Lehigh County, one in Northampton County, and one in Monroe County or possibly in Scranton-Wilkes Barre.
The state would like patients to have access to medical marijuana by 2018. It is not yet clear how applications for the integrated permits will be evaluated. The state has been divided into six regions to spread the economic and medical benefits of cannabis across the state. Two to eight dispensaries, and at most two growers will be allowed in Lehigh Valley.
Competition might get tough as the Department of Health said more than 900 entities enquired about the permit application process in the state. The integrated permits cut the middleman, and are seen as the best solution for the industry.
Cannabis for chronic pain
TruVo has put an executive team together that includes top experts in pharmacology and medicine as well as cultivation and growing, research and advocacy and lastly compliance specialists in regards to safety and FDA specifications.
This team is definitely geared to provide the best possible cannabis for chronic pain solutions. We’re very curious about how it will relate to the FDA and will be looking forward to seeing future progress.