Eight Pennsylvania medical schools, including three with connections to Lancaster County, have been certified as Academic Clinical Research Centers in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.

Announcing the news in a release, Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine wrote that the research component of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program "sets it apart from the rest of the nation,” and that the schools "will be able to help shape the future of treatment for patients not just here, but across the country."

The schools with local connections are as follows:

  • Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, which is part of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; 
  • The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which is part of Lancaster General Health's parent company Penn Medicine;
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, which is closely affiliated with UPMC, the parent company of UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster and Lititz.

The research program is still in development. The department had previously awarded all the same schools certification in May, but had to redo the process after a legal challenge resulted in passage of new legislation authorizing that part of the program.

The other five certified schools are Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia; Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia; Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia; Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.