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The Medical Cannabis Research Center launched the following studies on cannabis use:

A Registry Study of Medical Cannabis Patients in Pennsylvania

This patient registry study will recruit medical cannabis patients from 17 dispensaries owned and operated by Verano.

The study will recruit up to 1,200 patients across all 17 sites. Participants will complete a baseline quantitative interview, a quantitative follow-up interview every 90 days, and a subsample will complete a qualitative interview.

The patient registry study has four specific aims:

  1. Describe the socio-demographic characteristics of patients enrolled in the medical cannabis program at ZenLeaf dispensaries
  2. Describe the medical histories of medical cannabis patients enrolled at ZenLeaf dispensaries, including the specific qualifying condition(s) for medical cannabis
  3. Describe the cannabis-using practices of medical cannabis patients enrolled at Zen Leaf dispensaries, including cannabis strains, forms, and modes of administration as well as other drug use
  4. Describe the effects of medical cannabis use on serious medical conditions, e.g., pain, opioid dependence, and related symptoms overtime among medical cannabis patients enrolled at ZenLeaf dispensaries

This study began enrollment in June 2021.

Clinical Core

The Clinical Research Core provides the personnel and administrative support to conduct clinical trials and other clinical research activities related to medical cannabis.

It leverages Drexel’s clinical expertise and the availability of patients with qualifying conditions for medical cannabis such as, but not limited to, HIV, neuropathies, and PTSD.

Pilot Studies

The Pilot Studies arm of research is open to Drexel University faculty or postdoctoral researchers interested in studying new areas of cannabis research that are lacking preclinical and public health data. The MCRC funds between 2-3 new year-long studies that are aligned with the center’s mission on an annual basis.

Current and Past Pilot Study Awards:


  • “Cannabis and Autism: Understanding How the Autism Community Views and Uses Cannabis” – Hillary Steinberg, PhD; Lindsey Shea, DrPH, MS; Giacomo Vivanti, PhD; Disha Uppal, MPH
  • “Clinical Efficacy of Medicinal Marijuana for Stress-Related Disorders.” – Jennifer Ross, PhD


  • “Use of a National Retail Database to Describe Marijuana Dispensary Location and Equity” – Stephen Dickinson, PhD; Jana Hirsch, PhD, MES
  • “Needs, Barriers to Access, and Social Acceptability of Medical Cannabis Use by Parenting Women by Race” – Elizabeth Valdez, PhD, MPH
  • "Investigating the Analgesic Potential of Cannabidiol Combinations for Chronic Neuropathic Pain" - Mitchell Nothem, PhD; Jacqueline Barker, PhD