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University of Pittsburgh Establishes Medical Cannabis Research Program



The University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania is joining forces with the cannabis company Parallel to develop a clinical research program studying cannabis and developing new information about the efficacy of its medical properties.

The program will focus on sickle cell and other chronic illnesses and how they can be treated with the help of cannabis. The study will be provided with $3 million in unregulated research grants, as well as cannabis product from Goodblend, a retail brand owned by Parallel. The study will take place within the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The study will be headed up by Dr. Laura deCastro, who serves as associate professor of medicine at the university and director of clinical translational research for the Sickle Cell Disease Research Center of Excellence.

“Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law emphasizes the need for rigorous research related to the use of medical cannabis,” said Anantha Shekhar, senior vice chancellor for health sciences, and the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in a joint press release with Parallel. “Pitt is taking a leadership role in conducting that research and we look forward to advancing the safety and efficacy of cannabis therapies via scientific rigor. Parallel’s focus on the innovation, quality, safety and consistency of its products makes them an ideal partner for Pitt’s research program.”

CEO of Parallel, William Wrigley Jr. expressed his hopefulness about this promising partnership. “Our partnership with the University of Pittsburgh aligns with our mission of promoting well-being for all and to provide access and treatment options to communities who need it most,” said Wrigley in a press release. “SCD is a devastating disease that has impacted many African American families, both medically and financially, and we are hopeful that our research partnership with Pitt will help to improve outcomes through cannabis.”

Parallel (formerly Surterra Wellness), operates out of Florida, Texas, Nevada and Massachusetts, and also includes international dealings as well.

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