Connecticut approves first medical marijuana research program

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced today that Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center’s medical marijuana research program has been approved by the state.

The primary goal of the research program is to compare the effectiveness of medical marijuana versus oxycodone in patients with post traumatic acute, subacute and chronic pain from multiple rib fractures.

“We’re pleased to see our research program move forward so quickly in Connecticut,” Jonathan A. Harris, consumer protection commissioner said. “Our Medical Marijuana Program has already given nearly 15,000 patients relief from severe debilitating conditions, and these research programs will provide medical professionals the information they need to help their patients make good healthcare decisions.”

Harris said he expects to see “more thoughtful programs like the one developed at Saint Francis to start here in Connecticut in the coming months, and look forward to the medical progress we can make for families suffering from severe illnesses in the state.”

Dr. John F. Rodis, president of Saint Francis Hospital, said, “The opioid epidemic is devastating families and towns across the country. We need to find alternate methods to effectively and safely treat illnesses and diseases that can save lives and not ruin them. I am very proud that Saint Francis Hospital is at the forefront of this research, which is an integral part of our mission to be a transforming healing presence in the communities we serve.”

Dr. James M. Feeney, director of trauma services at Saint Francis, said opiate addiction is an “ongoing scourge on Connecticut families and on American society. We believe that through creative leadership in medical research, we at Saint Francis Hospital can help to end the problem of opiate dependence. We’re ready to start today.”

Public Act 16-23 was passed during the 2016 legislative session and allowed Connecticut Department of Public Health-licensed medical facilities, higher education institutions, and Connecticut-licensed medical marijuana dispensary facilities and producers to apply for research program licenses as of Oct. 1.

Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program currently has 584 registered physicians, and 14,858 patients.

Applicants for research programs may apply on a rolling basis, and DCP welcomes applications and questions. Candidates looking to apply for research licenses may reach out to DCP’s drug control division at 860-713-6165 or [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>.

Medical marijuana producers are tightly regulated.

Medical marijuana producers are tightly regulated.

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