The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University has announced the creation of the mmj.org initiative to bring together diverse stakeholders in the cannabis therapy space, to advance scientific understanding of medical marijuana and its derivatives, and to provide evidence-based resources for patients and their caregivers.
The first focus of the mmj.org initiative is a national patient registry in which more than 100,000 medical marijuana patients will share their health outcomes to drive new understanding of the safety and medical utility of cannabinoids used as therapy. This will be the largest and most comprehensive clinical database yet accumulated in the emerging field of medical marijuana. Patient recruitment into the registry will begin early this summer via an online platform at www.mmj.org and with partnering patient and healthcare organizations and medical marijuana dispensaries across the country.
“Millions of patients with chronic diseases are seeking health benefits from marijuana and various cannabinoids, and many are left to experiment with cannabis products on their own. These patients and their caregivers not only deserve our support, but they can help advance scientific understanding by sharing their experiences in a research registry designed with rigor and scale,” said Charles V. Pollack Jr., MD, director of The Lambert Center. “The mmj.org initiative aims to tackle complex issues related to medical marijuana. To achieve this we are focused on patient needs, rigorous science and engagement of all stakeholders—patients, healthcare professionals and industry—critics and advocates alike.
“Current evidence indicates that cannabinoids can be useful in the management of certain types of chronic pain, side effects of chemotherapy and some symptoms of multiple sclerosis—but there is much we still need to learn,” Pollack said.
“We are launching the mmj.org patient registry to fill significant gaps in the science with the largest longitudinal study ever of patient-reported outcomes with medical marijuana,” said Steven K. Klasko, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “The Lambert Center’s leadership in this emerging area of medicine exemplifies Jefferson’s commitment to advance the leading edge of medicine and transform the status quo in U.S. healthcare.”
The mmj.org initiative is being managed through a public-private partnership between The Lambert Center and ioVita, a digital health company focused on technology to connect and empower patients living with chronic diseases.
Initial collaborators leading the science behind the mmj.org patient registry include: Dr. Donald Abrams, Professor of Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco; Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller, Lambert Center Research Director; Dr. Alan Budney, Professor, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; Dr. Richard Dart, Director, Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center; Dr. Staci Gruber, Director, Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) Program, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School; Dr. Daniele Piomelli, Director, Institute for the Study of Cannabis, University of California, Irvine; and Dr. Ryan Vandrey, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.