• Press Release

Mount Sinai to Collaborate with Columbia Care on Medical Marijuana Research

  • (July 31, 2015)

The Mount Sinai Health System will work with Columbia Care LLC, a provider of medical marijuana, on research projects that evaluate the potential of related, experimental treatments. The collaboration moves into the next phase with the recent decision by the New York State Department of Health to award Columbia Care one of five state licenses to produce and dispense medical marijuana.

Mount Sinai and Columbia Care are already cooperating on analyses of the company’s patient registry data, with the goal to generate evidence about whether or not medical marijuana can help cancer patients regain lost weight or reduce nerve pain in HIV patients. The company has the largest national medical marijuana patient registry, with data derived from more than 100,000 patient interactions in 20 disease categories.

Mount Sinai and other state institutions are working work with Columbia Care to establish the New York State Medical Marijuana Research Network (MMRN). Mount Sinai will serve as the MMRN data and clinical coordination center, and will also advise Columbia Care on how to secure planned dispensaries and comply with regulations.

“We look forward to conducting rigorous scientific studies that answer the question of whether or not marijuana has value in the treatment of diseases where patients need more options,” said David L. Reich, MD, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Mount Sinai Hospital. “Should preliminary data from registry research support this and regulations allow, we may collaborate on future clinical trials that confirm the efficacy of related treatments.”

“Mount Sinai is committed to innovation in medicine, and we believe that well conducted, condition-specific studies on treatment with cannabis will answer important questions,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System. “Progress has been slowed by a paucity of rigorous studies, and our plan is to address that.”

With its New York license in place, Columbia Care is now licensed to operate research-focused, medical marijuana programs in five states and in Washington, D.C. "Columbia Care was founded to improve and rehabilitate lives and communities," said Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita. "Our activities are limited to marijuana for medical use and we emphasize health and healing through proven science. We are proud to partner with one of the most prestigious research and medical institutions globally in Mount Sinai.”

About Columbia Care
Columbia Care is one of the nation's largest providers of medical marijuana. Founded by two former Goldman Sachs executives, and working in collaboration with some of the best teaching hospitals and medical centers in the country, Columbia Care is a patient-centered health care company aiming to set the standard of professionalism, quality, and caring in a new industry. For more information please visit www.col-care.com.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."

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