Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to study medical marijuana and autism

— Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is pairing with an Australian biopharmaceutical company in what some advocates say could be the first major effort in the United States to study the effects of medical marijuana on children with autism.

Athena Zuppa, the director of the hospital’s Center for Clinical Pharmacology, will lead a team researching current medical marijuana patients. The hospital will not provide any cannabis products to children.

“This is truly an observational study,” Zuppa said. “We’re not giving them anything. We’re just gathering data to educate ourselves.”

Research with children who are already covered under Pennsylvania’s Safe Harbor provision is likely to begin in early 2018.

“This is truly an observational study. We’re not giving them anything. We’re just gathering data to educate ourselves.

— Athena Zuppa, director of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for

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