CARLISLE, Pa. — A Carlisle-based medical marijuana organization said Monday it has received full approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to commence operations at its cultivation, production, and research facility.
In a press release issued Monday, the company, Organic Remedies, said it is one of the state’s first research-based medical marijuana organizations to be deemed fully operational.
Earlier this year, the company received approval from the DOH to begin operations in its greenhouse, located at the same address. Organic Remedies said it began cultivating medical marijuana immediately thereafter, and now that the remaining portion of the facility has received operational approval, production is in full swing.
The company said Monday it is harvesting its first crop and processing has begun.
“Now that our cultivation and research facility is fully operational, we can start cultivating therapeutic cannabis strains and also conducting genetic research and development to identify strains and cannabinoids that promote positive health outcomes for individuals," said Organic Remedies CEO Mark Toigo. "Our new state-of-the-art processing laboratory will allow us to truly advance the scientific knowledge base of cannabis. It’s an exciting time."
Organic Remedies was granted a state-approved clinical registrant license to cultivate medical marijuana and manufacture medical marijuana products as part of the state’s first-in-the-nation medical marijuana research program.
Through a research grant agreement, Organic Remedies and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine will conduct several longitudinal studies focused on chronic pain, opioid use disorder, medical marijuana’s impact on quality of life, and trends in usage.
The first research study is focused on the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana and improvements in quality of life of patients in treating the 23 approved medical conditions, which include chronic pain, cancer, and anxiety, Organic Remedies said.
Selection of patients for this three-year, observational study is currently underway. Patients may be eligible for this study if they are over the age of 18 years and have not used medical marijuana previously to treat their conditions.
“Research on the effectiveness of cannabis as a therapeutic option is long overdue,” said Katherine Galluzzi, medical director of the PCOM Medicinal Cannabis Research Center. “The research team at PCOM has undertaken an in-depth look at the ways in which medical cannabis may improve the lives of patients, both physically and psychologically.
"This emerging area of treatment continues to hold enormous promise, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this important work with Organic Remedies.”
As Organic Remedies’ first harvest is underway, the company is anticipating the launch of a new medical marijuana product line by the end of this year.
“There continues to be strong demand in the Commonwealth for various strains and dosage forms to manage certain medical conditions," Tiogo said. "As a life science research facility, we are cultivating dozens of high quality, therapeutic cannabis strains.
"We are looking forward to launching our own brand of products later this year. We will be offering patients greater choice with consistent availability of quality products to manage their healthcare needs."
In addition to operating a cultivation, production and research facility, Organic Remedies is planning to open three additional dispensaries under its clinical registrant license. One dispensary is planned for southeastern Pennsylvania near PCOM, while the other two locations are being determined, the company said.
“We are truly excited to be able to offer our unique brand of patient-focused care to more patients in other areas of the state," said Eric Hauser, president of Organic Remedies. "We have built a strong reputation in southcentral Pennsylvania, and now we can take our model of successful patient care to many others. At the same time, we will soon be offering a premium product line. It is an exciting time for Organic Remedies, and our passionate team of healthcare professionals is looking forward to helping many more patients."