While Pennsylvania is processing hundreds of medical cannabis business applications, one private Pennsylvanian research university is already making plans to conduct a medical cannabis autism study, as reported by The Morning Call.
Lehigh University has partnered with BioGreen Farms, a medical cannabis company currently competing for a cultivation license in Williams Township.
Considering Pennsylvania is one of the few states that has autism on its list of qualifying conditions, Lehigh’s Dean of Education Gary Sasso explained that the university is ready to collect quantitative data on the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating autism in children.
If medical cannabis shows itself to be safe, Sasso wants to know, “does it mitigate some of the major characteristics of autism — social reluctance, language [challenges] and other stereotypical behaviors they sometimes engage in?” Sasso told The Morning Call that Lehigh University has the expertise to answer that question.
According to The Morning Call, Israel’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center is conducting the world’s first medical cannabis autism study, researching the efficacy of cannabidiol, a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid in cannabis, in treating autism in children. The study should be completed next year.
The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana program should announce the recipients of the 12 grower/process permits and 27 dispensary permits by the end of June, at which point Lehigh University will find out whether it can move forward with its medical cannabis autism study.