A key driver of the local medical marijuana movement is not where you might expect it. When Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Lambert Center for Medicinal Cannabis Education and Research launched in spring 2016, it not only helped to legitimize the study and ultimate treatment of patients by alternative means, but it provided a platform for new doctors to explore this relatively new branch of study. Today, Jefferson is providing patients with guidance about medical marijuana and training a new generation of medical professionals to navigate what this means for the future.
Dr. Edmund Pribitkin, chief medical officer at Jefferson, said the goal of the center is to explore all avenues of care for patients by providing guidance on the use of legal medical marijuana in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The impetus, of course, was due in large part to the legalization of the drug for medical treatment for wide-ranging ailments, like chronic pain, cancer and glaucoma.
“There are state-specific requirements for training and certification for physicians to begin recommending medical marijuana,” Pribitkin explained. “After satisfying these requirements, all Jefferson physicians pass additional screening before they begin to recommend medical marijuana. Here in Center City, we’ve seen 252 consultations thus far.”