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Groundbreaking clinical trial aims to bring marijuana pills to market

NEW HAVEN -- A medical marijuana pill could be coming to a pharmacy near you -- but likely won’t be arriving any time soon.

Clinical trials are just beginning for the pill as CT Pharma partnered with the Yale School of Medicine for a clinical trial to bring a medical marijuana drug to market. The study is approved by the FDA and the State Department of Consumer Protection.

The state’s medical marijuana industry has grown over the years: “Now we’re up to 36 conditions for adults and 10 for people under 18. We’re serving over 40,000 patients and we have over 1,000 certifying practitioners,” said state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull.

The drug is aimed at reducing pain and stress, possibly to treat PTSD and as a replacement for potent and potentially addicting opioid mediations.

Some of the study's participants will be given the medication while others will be given a placebo. Dr. Rajita Sinha of Yale University said, “We do compensate people for their time because research takes time.”

The study will monitor not only the drug’s effectiveness but also, how it reacts inside the body in relation to heart rate and blood pressure.

CT Pharma started work on this study in 2016 and has been working since then to get all the necessary regulatory approvals. CT Pharma Board Chair Michael Fedele said, “Right now a company in England has the only FDA approved, plant-based medical marijuana product in our market.”

If all goes well in the clinical trials, CT Pharma will look to bring the drug to market, which will require another round of FDA approvals. That’s a process that could take anywhere from three to seven years.

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