• Press Release

Mount Sinai to Collaborate with Columbia Care on Medical Marijuana Research

  • NEW YORK, NY
  • (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

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

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