Medical Marijuana in the Form of Controlled-dose Capsules Now Available in New York

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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Columbia Care announced the launch of its line of pills for medical marijuana — calling it the first controlled-dose, pharmaceutical-quality and solid-fill medical cannabinoid capsule available to people with prescriptions for medical marijuana use in the U.S.

The New York State Department of Health recently approved the capsule line, in three different formulations, for dispensing at the company’s four sites in that state.

Formulated with active ingredients from plants grown using Columbia Care’s organic agricultural process, the capsule line offers several concentration options for easy use by patients with fine motor control limitations due to neuropathy, or with such chronic illnesses as multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy, or inflammatory bowel disease.

The patent-pending capsules are filled with powder, rather than liquid, making  leakage less likely when storing them, and the administration of specific doses of medical marijuana easier and more precise, the company said in a press release.  It added that, in some cases, powder delivery may extend the intended benefits of the therapy, surpassing that of a tincture or vaporization oils, so that fewer daily doses are required.

“Columbia Care’s mission is to improve lives. To accomplish this, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation to provide patients with safe and consistent medicines that enhance access, efficacy and privacy. The launch in New York of our controlled-dose, solid-fill capsule line is a tangible manifestation of these efforts,” said Nicholas Vita, Columbia Care’s chief executive officer. “We are proud to offer this new, proprietary, pharmaceutical formulation as the first-of-its-kind in the United States.”

Columbia Care plans to make these capsules available in its other licensed jurisdictions within the U.S., and intends to target Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., starting next year.

Earlier this year, Multiple Sclerosis News Today covered a petition campaign in the U.K., organized by the MS Trust, that intended to promote access to medical cannabis there as a treatment for MS patients with chronic pain and similar disease symptoms. Likewise, a North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) survey last year revealed that a large proportion of MS patients favor legal access to marijuana for medical use.

Medical marijuana is of growing interest for its many potential therapeutic applications, although a number of studies, such as this one, call for further research.

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