• 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 New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

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