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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Medical Marijuana Coming to Cumberland, Maryland ??? ~ Is the Cat Out of the Bag ?


Is the Cat Out of the Bag ?

The Ronan Report

"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Medical Marijuana

On Tuesday, I had my second meeting with md / phh, a company that is hoping to be awarded one of the 15 licenses to begin the manufacturing of medical marijuana in Maryland.  This company is looking to locate in western Maryland.  The City of Cumberland initially reached out to me for economic development purposes, but the meetings have now advanced to the potential for partnering on clinical trials in the future.  

Some may be surprised to learn of my support of medical marijuana since I am vehemently opposed to legalization of recreational use marijuana.  (Just look at Colorado and the mess that exists there.  Although their tax revenues are through the roof, they have significant challenges with an increase in crime, public health issues as well as social issues.)   I have classified medical marijuana as another tool in the clinician's toolbox, if you will.  

With the out-of-control use of opiates in Cumberland, Maryland and across the US, medical marijuana could be a wonderful option for patients whose pain is no longer effectively controlled by Oxycodone or other similar opiate derivative drugs.  It could also provide a loved one who is in their final days the ability to have quality time with their family rather than in a morphine-induced coma because of the severity of their pain.  It certainly has a place in many areas of health care and needs to be used.

I am most encouraged by the founding leadership of md / phh, who are clearly in this for all of the right reasons.  They have licenses in Connecticut and Minnesota and their description of their operations is just short of amazing.   These are very credible individuals who are extremely interesting and have a wealth of knowledge on the subject.   

At yesterday's meeting, I invited Dr. Goldstein, WMHS's Chief Medical Officer, Nancy Adams, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nurse Executive and Kevin Turley, our Vice President for Marketing, Planning and New Business Development.  That meeting was only an hour due to constraints with other meetings, but could have lasted for three or four hours.  We are all intrigued by the science associated with medical marijuana and what this company is looking to accomplish.  

It would be of great benefit to the western Maryland region for a company that plans to bring 50 to 150 new jobs and have an economic impact of revenues from $50 to $75 million to locate here.  In addition, the Western Maryland Health System and our patients would have another dimension in patient care.  Medical marijuana also fits nicely into our value- based care delivery model by caring for patients in the most appropriate location and keeping them healthier and out of the hospital.  I will be keeping everyone apprised of md / phh's progress over the next several months, but I thought that it was necessary to give you a prospective on such a new and different company with a concept that will hopefully be coming to Cumberland.