Pubdate: Fri, 03 Jun 2016
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Copyright: 2016 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: Sam Wood


Experts in Several Fields Are Getting Ready Years Ahead of 
Medical-Marijuana Sales.

Medical marijuana won't be available in Pennsylvania for at least two 
years, yet politicians, academics, and entrepreneurs are already 
scrambling to brand themselves as industry leaders and experts.

The state's medical-marijuana law eventually will make pharmaceutical 
cannabis products available to residents who suffer from serious 
medical conditions. Eligible ailments include autism, cancer, 
epilepsy, and chronic pain.

The details of the law still need to be hammered out. The stakes are 
high. The specifics, which remain unwritten, may determine how 
Pennsylvania's medical marijuana is grown, processed, and distributed 
and who will win the coveted licenses to do so.

On Thursday, State Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) said he would 
hold a conference - bearing his name - to debate the best ways to 
regulate medical marijuana.

"Daylin Leach's Medical Marijuana Regulatory-Palooza" is set for July 
8 at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. The conference is free, 
but interested attendees must complete an online application at

Leach is coauthor of the state medical-marijuana law. He recently 
introduced a bill to fully legalize marijuana and allow it to be sold 
in state stores, as alcohol is.

Leach will collect recommendations at the conference from prospective 
patients, growers, and investors on how the current law should be implemented.

Leach said he would use the advice to draft a report he will deliver 
to the state. He says the report could serve as a nationwide model 
for medical-marijuana regulations.

On Tuesday, Thomas Jefferson University announced it had created a 
think tank to provide unbiased guidance to physicians and patients 
about the medical uses of marijuana.

The Center for Medical Cannabis Education and Research will operate 
out of Jefferson's Institute of Emerging Health Professions in Center 
City, said its director, Charles V. Pollack Jr.

Pollack said the center had recruited a steering committee of 15 
international experts who will act as a "sieve that separates the 
hype from the science."

The center will not play a direct role in Pennsylvania's 
medical-marijuana industry, he said, but will offer online courses to 
physicians, pharmacists, and others participating in the program.

Jefferson's center will also collaborate with researchers across the 
state to track medical marijuana's development as it takes root in 

Business seminars purporting to offer guidance for average folks 
dreaming of staking a claim in the marijuana gold rush are popping up 
nearly every month.

This weekend, an outfit called U.S. Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research 
and Development is staging two conferences at area hotels.

For $350 a ticket, participants can attend a daylong event Saturday 
at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown or Sunday at the Philadelphia 
Marriott West in Conshohocken.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom