By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new program at Philadelphia’s Rothman Institute was introduced Friday night in Center City at “The Future Is Now: Medical Cannabis Reception.”

Philadelphia leaders, healthcare providers, and others were in attendance.

“We’re basically educating the public about a new medical cannabis program at the Rothman Institute and our efforts to study cannabis for the treatment of pain,” explains Rothman physician Ari Greis.

He calls this a “pilot program” with a major goal in mind.

“We have a pretty devastating opioid crisis that’s effecting our communities,” says Greis, “and so we’re looking for effective and safer alternatives to treating pain.”

Greis tells KYW Newsradio that, despite the program being in it’s very early stages, many patients have expressed interest so far.

Rothman Institute is partnering with Franklin BioScience.

“We can’t recommend, prescribe, or give patients cannabis in a research study,” said Greis. “We need a third party who is willing to make cannabis accessible to patients, so we can study the effects on their condition.”​

“We can actually collaborate together to get the necessary research done to be able to show, with data, the ethicacy of cannabis for various qualifying conditions,” adds Franklin BioScience president Bob Pease.

In April, Franklin BioScience will be opening a medical marijuana dispensary in Bucks County.

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